HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Fish can determine their social rank by observation alone, study finds

A male fish can size up potential rivals, and even rank them from strongest to weakest, simply by watching how they perform in territorial fights with other males, according to a new study by Stanford University scientists. The researchers say their discovery provides the first direct evidence that fish, like people, can use logical reasoning to figure out their place in the pecking order.

The study, published in the Jan. 25 edition of the journal Nature, is based on a unique experiment with cichlids (SIK-lids), small territorial fish from Africa. "In their natural habitat, male cichlids are constantly trying to ascend socially by beating each other up," said study co-author Russell D. Fernald, professor of biological sciences at Stanford. "It would be really valuable for them to know in advance who to pick a fight with."

The Nature experiment was designed by lead author Logan Grosenick, a graduate student in statistics at Stanford, and Tricia S. Clement, a former postdoctoral fellow. Their goal was to determine whether territorial fish use a type of reasoning called "transitive inference," in which known relationships serve as the basis for understanding unfamiliar ones.

"Transitive inference is essential to logical reasoning," Fernald explained. "It's something that kids generally figure out by age 4 or 5--Mary is taller than Fred, Fred is taller than Pete, therefore Mary is taller than Pete. It's been demonstrated in primates, rats and some bird species, but how and why it evolved in animals is a matter of debate."

Aggressive bouts

In the experiment, the Stanford team used a popular laboratory fish called Astatotilapia burtoni, one of many cichlid species that inhabit Lake Tanganyika in eastern Africa. A. burtoni males are extremely territorial and regularly engage in aggressive fights, the outcome of which determines who gets access to food and mates.

"Males that repeatedly lose fights ar
'"/>

Contact: Mark Shwartz
mshwartz@stanford.edu
650-723-9296
Stanford University
24-Jan-2007


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. What determines the speed at which birds fly?
2. HWI researchers determine structure of protein from pathogen associated with CF and TB
3. MIT tool determines landslide risk in tropics
4. Left-right wiring determined by neural communication in the embryonic worm
5. Researcher to determine why oil still remains from Exxon Valdez
6. Stem cells determine their daughters fate
7. FSU researchers determine a critical factor in workings of proteins
8. Columbia scientists determine 3-dimensional structure of cells fuel gauge
9. Human preference for other species could determine whether they survive
10. The floral network -- what determines who pollinates whom
11. Fighting like a girl or boy determined by gene in fruit flies

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Fish can determine their social rank observation alone study finds

(Date:4/17/2014)... New Rochelle, NY, April 17, 2014The development of stem ... on the ability to characterize stem cell populations based ... Cross have discovered a new marker that is highly ... human umbilical cord blood, which they describe in an ... journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... Professor Marc Andr Gauthier and Professor Luca Razzari ... each been awarded large grants from the John ... for Innovation (CFI) for the acquisition of state-of-the-art ... be added matching grants from the Ministre de ... et de la Technologie (MESRST). These new laboratories ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... German . ... also provide us with a continuous stream of information about ... sit still in a car the world glides by ... Seemingly without effort, our brain calculates self-motion from this "optic ... a steady gaze during our own movements. Together with biologists ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):New state-of-the-art biotech and nanotech equipment for INRS 2How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away 2How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away 3How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away 4
(Date:1/15/2014)... The Pittcon Organizing Committee is pleased to announce ... , an e-Journal and producer of Food Labs ... year for the co-location of Food Labs Conference to be ... the registration fee to attend the two-day Food Lab Conference, ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 ­ RedBrick Health , a fast-growing leader ... announces that EmblemHealth , the New ... now providing the RedBrick Compass health assessment, combined with ... of its members. EmblemHealth is among the first health ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... NY (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 The Microcompetition ... a major disease. One of these latent viruses is the ... rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory ... theory, a study found that RA patients have high concentrations ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... TaiGen Biotechnology Company, Limited ("TaiGen") today announced that they ... Russian pharmaceutical company, to develop and commercialize nemonoxacin (Taigexyn ... , Turkey and other members ... antibiotic for the treatment of bacterial infections including those ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Pittcon Announces Second Year Partnership With Food Safety Tech 2Pittcon Announces Second Year Partnership With Food Safety Tech 3EmblemHealth Selects RedBrick Health to Power its Next-Generation Health Engagement and Behavior Change System 2EmblemHealth Selects RedBrick Health to Power its Next-Generation Health Engagement and Behavior Change System 3Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 2Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 3TaiGen Biotechnology Signed Exclusive License Agreement with R-Pharm for Nemonoxacin (Taigexyn(R)) 2TaiGen Biotechnology Signed Exclusive License Agreement with R-Pharm for Nemonoxacin (Taigexyn(R)) 3TaiGen Biotechnology Signed Exclusive License Agreement with R-Pharm for Nemonoxacin (Taigexyn(R)) 4
Cached News: