of the levels at which suction performance can be increased considerably,
is by increasing the magnitude and/or speed of the depression of the hyoid
Furthermore, no mechanical interference can be expected between the
size of jaw adductors and the lowering of the mouth floor by depressing
Therefore, if catfishes with hypertrophied jaw adductors need to
increase their suction performance, modifications to the hyoid depression
system are probably the most obvious option.
In this part of my research, I focus on the mechanics of hyoid
depression and how morphological variation in the sternohyoideus muscle
(the hyoid depressor muscle) is related to the way the hyoid is depressed.
The figure below (ventral view on the head) illustrates the difference in
sternohyoideus morphology between Clarias gariepinus (left) and Gymnallabes
Van Wassenbergh S.,Herrel
A. , Adriaens, D. and Aerts, P. (2007). Interspecific
variation in sternohyoideus muscle morphology in clariid catfishes:
implications for suction feeding. J. Morphol. 268: 232-242 full text (PDF)