File(s) not publicly available
Visual morphology and feeding behaviour of the daggertooth
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-16, 12:43 authored by Welch, DW, Pankhurst, PM
Dissection of freshly eaten prey suggests that the North Pacific daggertooth Anotopterus nikparini sever the spine of small prey with a single slashing blow. The bite marks indicate that the immobilized prey is manipulated and swallowed head first. Frequent evidence suggests daggertooth wound prey which are too large to consume whole by cutting off strips of flesh. In either case the wounds consist of a single prominent slash mark on one side and a series of inconspicuous marks on the opposite side. Retinal morphology provides supporting evidence that daggertooths are visual ambush predators that attack prey from below, and should be considered as epipelagic rather than mesopelagic fish. Visual acuity appears to be high, suggesting that frequent attacks on prey too large to be killed immediately is not error, but a well-defined feeding behaviour. The daggertooth may be a significant source of mortality for economically important fish such as all sizes of salmon.
Publication titleJournal of Fish Biology
Department/SchoolInstitute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
PublisherAcademic Press Ltd
Place of publicationLondon, England