Right-handed snakes: Convergent evolution of asymmetry for functional specialization

Masaki Hoso*, Takahiro Asami, Michio Hori

*この研究の対応する著者

研究成果: Article査読

94 被引用数 (Scopus)

抄録

External asymmetry found in diverse animals bears critical functions to fulfil ecological requirements. Some snail-eating arthropods exhibit directional asymmetry in their feeding apparatus for foraging efficiency because dextral (clockwise) species are overwhelmingly predominant in snails. Here, we show convergence of directional asymmetry in the dentition of snail-eating vertebrates. We found that snakes in the subfamily Pareatinae, except for non-snail-eating specialists, have more teeth on the right mandible than the left. In feeding experiments, a snail-eating specialist Pareas iwasakii completed extracting a dextral soft body faster with fewer mandible retractions than a sinistral body. The snakes failed in holding and dropped sinistral snails more often owing to behavioural asymmetry when striking. Our results demonstrate that symmetry break in dentition is a key innovation that has opened a unique ecological niche for snake predators.

本文言語English
ページ(範囲)169-172
ページ数4
ジャーナルBiology Letters
3
2
DOI
出版ステータスPublished - 2007 4 22
外部発表はい

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 農業および生物科学(その他)
  • 農業および生物科学(全般)

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