New Publication: Specialized specialists and the narrow niche fallacy: a tale of scale-feeding fishes


“Lepidophagous fishes, which subsist by picking scales off other fishes, have evolved independently over 30 times. Given the seemingly specialized nature of this dietary niche, we asked the question: are all scale-feeding fishes built in a similar fashion? We used microCT to measure the feeding anatomy in a host of museum specimens, coupled with diceCT to visualize jaw musculature without marring priceless specimens with dissections. Despite living in similar habitats and feeding on presumably similar prey, lepidophagous taxa do not converge on a singular morphotype; rather, there are many ways to be a scale-feeding fish.”

– Lead author, Matt Kolmann (@)

Follow Dr. Kolmann on Twitter, and head over to Royal Society Open Science to read the open access pub!

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