Evolution of long-toothed fishes and the changing nature of fish-benthos interactions on coral reefs

Bellwood, David R., Hoey, Andrew S., Bellwood, Orpha, and Goatley, Christopher H.R. (2014) Evolution of long-toothed fishes and the changing nature of fish-benthos interactions on coral reefs. Nature Communications, 5. pp. 1-6.

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View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4144
 
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Abstract

Interactions between fishes and the benthos have shaped the development of marine ecosystems since at least the early Mesozoic. Here, using the morphology of fish teeth as an indicator of feeding abilities, we quantify changes over the last 240 million years of reef fish evolution. Fossil and extant coral reef fish assemblages reveal exceptional stasis in tooth design over time, with one notable exception, a distinct long-toothed form. Arising only in the last 40 million years, these long-toothed fishes have bypassed the invertebrate link in the food chain, feeding directly on benthic particulate material. With the appearance of elongated teeth, these specialized detritivores have moved from eating invertebrates to eating the food of invertebrates. Over evolutionary time, fishes have slid back down the food chain.

Item ID: 32919
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 2041-1723
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2014 09:56
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060206 Palaeoecology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060303 Biological Adaptation @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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