Comparative kinematics of cypriniform premaxillary protrusion

Katie Lynn Staab, Lara Ferry, L. Patricia Hernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Premaxillary protrusion has evolved multiple times within teleosts, and has been implicated as contributing to the evolutionary success of clades bearing this adaptation. Cypriniform fishes protrude the jaws via the kinethmoid, a median sesamoid bone that is a synapomorphy for the order. Using five cypriniform species, we provide the first comparative kinematic study of jaw protrusion in this speciose order. Our goals were to compare jaw protrusion in cypriniforms to that in other clades that independently evolved upper jaw protrusion, assess the variation in feeding kinematics among members of the order, and test if variation in the shape of the kinethmoid has an effect on either jaw kinematics or the degree of suction or ram used during a feeding event. We also examined the coordination in the relative timings of upper and lower jaw movements to gain insight on the cypriniform protrusile mechanism. Overall, speed of protrusion in cypriniforms is slower than in other teleosts. Protrusion speed differed significantly among cypriniforms but this is likely not due to kinethmoid shape alone; rather, it may be a result of both kinethmoid shape and branching patterns of the A1 division of the adductor mandibulae. In the benthic cypriniforms investigated here, upper jaw protrusion contributed up to 60% of overall ram of the strikes and interestingly, these species also produced the most suction. There is relatively little coordination of upper and lower jaw movements in cypriniforms, suggesting that previous hypotheses of premaxillary protrusion via lower jaw depression are not supported within Cypriniformes. Significant variation in kinematics suggests that cypriniforms may have the ability to modulate feeding, which could be an advantage if presented with the challenge of feeding on different types of prey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-77
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012


  • Adductor mandibulae
  • Cypriniformes
  • Jaw protrusion
  • Kinethmoid
  • Suction feeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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