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Title: Evolution of long-toothed fishes and the changing nature of fish-benthos interactions on coral reefs
Contributor(s): Bellwood, David R (author); Hoey, Andrew S (author); Bellwood, Orpha (author); Goatley, Christopher  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2014
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4144Open Access Link
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Abstract: Interactions between fishes and the benthos have shaped the development of marine ecosystems since at least the early Mesozoic. Here, using the morphology of fish teeth as an indicator of feeding abilities, we quantify changes over the last 240 million years of reef fish evolution. Fossil and extant coral reef fish assemblages reveal exceptional stasis in tooth design over time, with one notable exception, a distinct long-toothed form. Arising only in the last 40 million years, these long-toothed fishes have bypassed the invertebrate link in the food chain, feeding directly on benthic particulate material. With the appearance of elongated teeth, these specialized detritivores have moved from eating invertebrates to eating the food of invertebrates. Over evolutionary time, fishes have slid back down the food chain.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Nature Communications, v.5, p. 1-6
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2041-1723
Field of Research (FOR): 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
060206 Palaeoecology
050102 Ecosystem Function
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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