[MARMAM] New paper on aquatic mammal feeding

Felix Marx felix.marx at monash.edu
Wed Mar 1 03:05:24 PST 2017

Dear colleagues,

please find below the abstract and link to our recently published paper on
a new behavioural and evolutionary framework of aquatic mammal feeding:

Hocking D.P., Marx F.G., Park T., Fitzgerald E.M.G and Evans A.R. 2017. A
behavioural framework for the evolution of feeding in predatory aquatic
mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284: 20162750.

Link: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1850/20162750

Abstract: Extant aquatic mammals are a key component of aquatic ecosystems.
Their morphology, ecological role and behaviour are, to a large extent,
shaped by their feeding ecology. Nevertheless, the nature of this crucial
aspect of their biology is often oversimplified and, consequently,
misinterpreted. Here, we introduce a new framework that categorizes the
feeding cycle of predatory aquatic mammals into four distinct functional
stages (prey capture, manipulation and processing, water removal and
swallowing), and details the feeding behaviours that can be employed at
each stage. Based on this comprehensive scheme, we propose that the feeding
strategies of living aquatic mammals form an evolutionary sequence that
recalls the land-to-water transition of their ancestors. Our new conception
helps to explain and predict the origin of particular feeding styles, such
as baleen-assisted filter feeding in whales and raptorial ‘pierce’ feeding
in pinnipeds, and informs the structure of present and past ecosystems.

Kind regards,

Felix Marx

*Felix G. Marx* PhD
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow
*Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium
*Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
*Museums Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

Address: School of Biological Sciences, Monash University
18 Innovation Walk, VIC 3800, Australia
Tel. +61 (0)3 9905 1190 (Monash University) or +61 (0)3 8341 7346 (Museum
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