The largemouth bass sucks its prey into its mouth with a quick vacuum-like movement, but have you ever wondered how it works? Scientists from Brown University did, and so they used both X-ray video and motion capture animation technology to get a closer look.
Their findings found that a collection of bones and muscles worked together to form a four-bar linkage with three degrees of movement. As they move the way that they do, it creates a cavity that becomes rapidly filled with water, and any nearby prey enters the cavity with it.
Although the four-bar linkage idea might sound complicated, these mechanisms manifest themselves in various ways all around us. For example, when you ride a bike, a four-bar linkage connects your legs to the pedals to create a forward motion out of your pedaling effort. Even your natural knees have a four-bar linkage that enables you to walk.
Why is understanding how a largemouth bass sucks in its prey important? Determining how these bones and muscles work together is a step forward toward better understanding how four-bar linkages exist in nature. Furthermore, it could also further research and treatments concerning human knees, among other things.