Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Archer fish hunt insects with water jet six times stronger than their muscular power

Date:
October 24, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Archer fish knock their insect prey out of overhanging vegetation with a jet of water several times more powerful than the fish's muscles. New research now shows that the fish generate this power externally using water dynamics rather than with any specialized internal organs. The research provides the first explanation for how archer fish can generate such powerful jets to capture their prey.

This is a still image of archer fish swimming, 1632x1224.
Credit: L. Zinnato. Vailati A, Zinnato L, Cerbino R (2012) How Archer Fish Achieve a Powerful Impact: Hydrodynamic Instability of a Pulsed Jet in Toxotes jaculatrix. PLoS ONE 7(10): e47867. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047867

Archer fish knock their insect prey out of overhanging vegetation with a jet of water several times more powerful than the fish's muscles. New research now shows that the fish generate this power externally using water dynamics rather than with any specialized internal organs.

Related Articles


The research, published Oct. 24 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Alberto Vailati and colleagues from the University of Milan, provides the first explanation for how archer fish can generate such powerful jets to capture their prey.

Other animals like chameleons and salamanders store energy in collagen fibers in their bodies and abruptly release this stored energy to project their tongues at high speeds, but previous studies on archer fish have ruled out such specialized organs as the source of the powerful water jets.

The authors of the current study used high-speed video recordings of archer fish knocking insects out of overhanging plants to study the mechanics of the water jet and found that the fish could modulate the velocity of the jet to create a single large water drop that hit the prey with a large force. According to the authors, this approach avoids the evolutionary costs needed to develop special internal structures to store these large amounts of energy.

"The origin of the effectiveness of the jet squirted by archer fish has been searched for inside of the fish for nearly 250 years. The striking finding of our work is that a large amplification of muscular power occurs outside of the fish and leads to a very powerful impact of the jet with the prey," says Vailati.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alberto Vailati, Luca Zinnato, Roberto Cerbino. How Archer Fish Achieve a Powerful Impact: Hydrodynamic Instability of a Pulsed Jet in Toxotes jaculatrix. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (10): e47867 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047867

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Archer fish hunt insects with water jet six times stronger than their muscular power." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024175351.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, October 24). Archer fish hunt insects with water jet six times stronger than their muscular power. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024175351.htm
Public Library of Science. "Archer fish hunt insects with water jet six times stronger than their muscular power." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024175351.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

RightThisMinute (Jan. 28, 2015) From new-puppy happy tears to helpful-grocery-carrying-dog laughter, our four-legged best friends can make us feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Wrongly categorized as lizard fossils, snake fossils now show the reptile could have developed earlier than we thought — 70 million years earlier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Harvard researchers found that girls who consumed more than 1.5 sugary drinks a day had their first period earlier than those who drank less. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Hold Emergency Meeting to Save Endangered Rhinos

Scientists Hold Emergency Meeting to Save Endangered Rhinos

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Conservationists and scientists hold talks in Kenya to come up with a last ditch plan to save the northern white rhinoceros from extinction. Duration: 01:06 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins