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The relationships between mouth size and shape and body length for 18 species of marine fishes and their trophic implications

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In 18 marine fish species from the eastern Mediterranean, vertical mouth opening increased linearly with total length (LT) for 10 species and log-linearly for eight species. Horizontal mouth opening was linearly related to LT for 12 species and log-linearly for six species, whereas mouth area was a log-linear function of LT for all fish species examined. Mouth shape varied greatly covering the whole spectrum from a full circle to an extended oval. In addition, the trophic level of the 18 species could be expressed as an asymptotic function of mouth area. The results are discussed within the context of the trophic ecology of the species examined in the study area.

Keywords: Aegean Sea; feeding; mouth area; mouth dimensions; trophic levels

Document Type: Regular Paper


Publication date: June 1, 2003


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