Portland State University. Department of Biology
Date of Publication
Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology
Lateral line organs, Intertidal fishes, Fishes -- Sense organs
1 online resource (vi, 61 pages)
The lateral line canal system is a sensory organ found in all teleost fish that has a wide range of morphological variation. Variation in morphology may often be the result of evolutionary necessity where the need for function dictates form. Xiphister mucosus is an amphibious Stichaeid fish that inhabits the rocky intertidal zone of the northeastern Pacific Ocean. The rocky intertidal is considered an extreme environment where crashing waves and ebbing tides may require the specialization of adaptations for surviving the many abiotic stressors encountered there.
The lateral line trunk canal of Xiphister is regarded as unique among teleosts with multiple, branching, zigzag shaped canals that are morphologically complex. The X. mucosus canal was found to not serve as a mechanosensory organ, rather the findings presented here suggest a new role as a water transport organ. This may be an exaptation to help X. mucosus avoid desiccation during low tides when the fish remain upon the rocky shore and exposed to dehydration.
While emersed, Xiphister relies on cutaneous respiration as its primary means of aerial respiration.
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Gayer, Whitney Anne, "Water Transport in the Lateral Line Canal of the Intertidal Fish Xiphister mucosus (Girard 1858) and Its Significance to Evaporative Water with Preliminary Observations of the Metabolic Consequences of Water Loss" (2018). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 4089.