Functional anatomy of the Macrouridae (Teleostei, Gadiformes)
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Osteology and myology of the head of 21 species of macrourids and two closely related species are described. A general model of the mechanics of the macrourid head during feeding has been developed based on the anatomical findings. The structure of the head and integration of morphological units are used to explain specializations in the utilization of different food resources. Pelagic prey are the source of food for the most primitive species and for a few of the more specialized ones. A highly protrusible mouth and long rostrum are adaptations for benthic feeding and have appeared in three independent evolutionary lines within the group. Macrourids that are predators on benthos tend to be small and live at depths shallower than 2000 meters.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution May, 1976
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