Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Double death grip: or, don't get attacked by a moray eel

Via Pipsqueak, thanks to a technique called cinefluoroscopy, which is some sort of moving X-ray image, plus high-speed video, researchers have found that the auxiliary jaws in the throat of a moray eel don't stay in the throat as presumed. No, as it happens they leap into the main mouth area and help grab the prey. Info and X-ray pictures here (Moray Eels Attack With Two Jaws, by Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News, Sept. 5, 2007).

Yinga. I predict outbreaks of moray eel play-acting amongst families with small boys once this news gets out. Does anyone want to bet against it? (Yikes.)

I had no idea that moray eels had two sets of jaws, so the fact that the second set is extendable/retractable is a surprise on top of a surprise for me.

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