A novel pharyngeal expansion mechanism in the yellow-spotted fanray, Platyrhina tangi (Elasmobranchii: Batoidea), with special reference to the function of the fifth ceratobranchial cartilage in batoids
Zoomorphology, 2013, 132(3): 317-324.
Expansion of the 'pharynx' during breathing or capturing prey in fishes generally involves posteroventral retraction of the hyoid arch. However, the hyoid arch structure of batoid fishes (skates, rays, guitarfishes, and sawfishes) is unique, and how they expand the pharyngeal cavity is poorly understood. To investigate the mechanism of pharyngeal expansion during breathing in the yellow-spotted fanray, Platyrhina tangi, we conducted anatomical and kinematic investigations of the pharyngeal region. Our study revealed that the yellow-spotted fanray and sharks have different skeletal linkage systems for pharyngeal expansion. During pharyngeal expansion in the yellow-spotted fanray, the hyoid bar and branchial apparatus rotate ventrally around the hinge joint between the fifth ceratobranchial cartilage and the pectoral girdle. This pharyngeal expansion mechanism appears to be widespread among batoid fishes and is unique among cartilaginous fishes (sharks, batoids, and holocephalans). Batoid fishes possibly developed this pharyngeal expansion mechanism during early batoid evolution.
Batoid; Breathing; Fifth gill arch; Pharyngeal expansion; Yellow-spotted fanray