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Some scientists have long wondered about the way fish eat their food. Fish are vertebrates. This means they have a spine or backbone. And they have gills that help them take oxygen out of water. But the movements fish make while eating can be especially interesting. Many fish are power eaters. Bass, for example, can eat goldfish in one big swallow. Thomas Roberts teaches biology at Brown University in Rhode Island. He and his team recorded the movements of bass as the fish were eating. The researchers used high speed x-ray videos and computed tomography images, known as CT scans. The recordings showed bones in the skull of the bass. The researchers also measured the pressure in the water while it was feeding. Mr. Roberts says the muscles in the skull are not powerful enough to create that pressure. He says they must work together with other muscles used for swimming. Scientists had suspected this kind of cooperation in the past, but they had no proof until now. Mr. Roberts says bass use linkages between their skull bones and body to create a very fast movement and strong suction. The finding is important to understand how not only bass, but about 30,000 species of water vertebrates developed. Thomas Robert says it also shows that fish “co-opt” swimming muscles to produce their feeding motion. He says this was important to the development of bony fishes. And it helped them succeed and survive. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.