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Volume :27 Issue : 2 2000      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Feeding structures in the silver pomfret Pampus argenteus (Euphrasen) as observed by scanning electron microscopy

Auther : E. AL-QATTAN, S. DADZIE AND F. ABOU-SEEDO

Department of  Biological  Sciences, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 5969, Safat 13060, Kuwait., email: stevedadzie@kuc01.kuniv.edu.kw

 ABSTRACT

The first electron microscopy description of the feeding structures of silver pomfret Pampus argenteus, locally called zobaidy, from the Kuwaiti waters of the Arabian Gulf, is presented. The mouth is a small, sub-terminal, slit-like transverse opening equipped with a single row of villiform teeth on both the premaxillary and dentary bones. Contrary to past studies suggesting that the back teeth on both jaws are multicuspid, evidence is presented indicating that the teeth on the premaxillary are mostly unicuspid, conical and blunt, and are interspersed with a few tricuspids, while those on the dentary are mostly tricuspid, narrow and sharp, and are interspersed with a few unicuspid teeth. The pharynx extends caudally from the buccal cavity to form a thick-walled sac referred to as the oesophageal sac, a peculiar structure of the stromateids. Pointed and sharp simple conical teeth project from the inner walls of the sac. An attempt has been made to relate the buccal teeth to the diet of the species, reported in our earlier study as consisting of copepods and their eggs, Bacillariophyta, other crustaceans, Mollusca, fish scales, fish larvae and their eggs, and other phytoplankton, in that order of abundance. The tricuspid teeth with pointed middle cusps are efficient for masticating the “soft-bodied” crustaceans (e.g. copepods and their eggs), and fish larvae and their eggs. The conical unicuspid teeth with blunt ends are most likely used in dealing with the shelled crustaceans. The pointed, conical, sharp teeth and the blunt ones would be useful for grabbing, tearing and grinding the seized victims. The sharp, pointed, blade-like tricuspid teeth are adapted for breaking diatoms and other phytoplankton, such as filamentous algae.

Keywords: oesophageal sac; Pampus argenteus; scanning electron microscopy; silver pomfret; teeth.

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