Journal of Experimental Biology
The Company of Biologists
A micro-thermistor probe was inserted into the buccal cavity of freely swimming paddlefish to measure flow velocity during ram ventilation, ram suspension feeding and prey processing. Swimming speed was measured from videotapes recorded simultaneously with the buccal flow velocity measurements. Both swimming velocity and buccal flow velocity were significantly higher during suspension feeding than during ram ventilation. As the paddlefish shifted from ventilation to feeding, buccal flow velocity increased to approximately 60 % of the swimming velocity. During prey processing, buccal flow velocity was significantly higher than the swimming velocity, indicating that prey processing involves the generation of suction. The Reynolds number (Re) for flow at the level of the paddlefish gill rakers during feeding is about 30, an order of magnitude lower than the Re calculated previously for pump suspension-feeding blackfish. These data, combined with data available from the literature, indicate that the gill rakers of ram suspension-feeding teleost fishes may operate at a substantially lower Re than the rakers of pump suspension feeders.
Sanderson, S. Laurie; Cech, Joseph Jr; and Cheer, A Y., Paddlefish buccal flow velocity during ram suspension feeding and ram ventilation (1994). Journal of Experimental Biology, 186, 145-156.