The land-dwelling blenny from Mauritius, Alticus monochrus, courts females using displays that present their exaggerated head crests and elaborated dorsal fins. Photo credit: Terry Ord, UNSW Sydney.

Fish out of water evolve extravagant ornaments, whereas those in water do not

Thomas C. Summers and Terry J. Ord Read the full article here Bigger is better when it comes to ornaments that attract mates, but only the best and biggest males usually have the capacity to develop the largest ornaments. Yet large ornaments can also impede movement and in turn limit the capacity of a male to forage and escape predators effectively. For example, fish tend … Continue reading Fish out of water evolve extravagant ornaments, whereas those in water do not

Shoal of juvenile Pelvicachromis pulcher. Photo taken by Timo Thünken

Resource heterogeneity but not inbreeding affects growth and grouping behaviour in socially foraging juvenile cichlid fish

Rieke F. Schons, Simon Vitt, Timo Thünken Read the full research here In natural habitats, resources are often not equally distributed in space, which can have consequences for the individuals consuming them. Clumped food patches can be more profitable because more food can be consumed in a certain amount of time. Furthermore, such food patches are easier to defend. Studies on fishes and birds have … Continue reading Resource heterogeneity but not inbreeding affects growth and grouping behaviour in socially foraging juvenile cichlid fish

Completely plated (upper) and low plated (lower) threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Fish have been stained with Alizarin Red S to help visualise lateral plates and spines. Image credit: Carl Smith.

Elevated temperatures drive the evolution of armour loss in the threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus

Smith, Carl; Zieba, Grzegorz; Przybylski, Miroslaw Sticklebacks are small fishes, related to seahorses, that are found in fresh, brackish and seawater. Notably, the three-spined stickleback is a ‘model’ research animal of huge significance that has been used by scientists for over a century in research to understand animal behaviour, evolution and, latterly, genetics. While three-spined sticklebacks can live in a wide variety of habitats, they … Continue reading Elevated temperatures drive the evolution of armour loss in the threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus

Common carp (Cyprinus carpio)

How far can fish transport plant seeds?

Van Leeuwen, Casper; Mulder, Andrea; van Aalderen, Roland Seed dispersal by animals is important for the transport of plant seeds to new locations. Many animals ingest, transport and defecate viable seeds – which can lead to colonization in fragmented habitats, expand plant ranges in response to global changes, or ensure space for a next generation. Many fruit-eating birds and mammals are well-known seed dispersers, but … Continue reading How far can fish transport plant seeds?

The role of fishes as food: A functional perspective on predator-prey interactions

Mihalitsis, Michalis; Hemingson, Christopher; Goatley, Christopher; Bellwood, David Every animal dies. For fishes on coral reefs, the smaller you are, the more likely this is to happen. Small fish fit easily in the mouth of a bigger fish. However, fishes have many defence strategies against predators. Some relate to how the fish is shaped, while others are behavioural. For example, some fishes have evolved deeper … Continue reading The role of fishes as food: A functional perspective on predator-prey interactions