Royal Society study on adaptability of fish to warming oceans

Biology Letters

A falsification of the thermal specialization paradigm: compensation to elevated temperatures in Antarctic fish by Dr F Seebacher, Dr B Davison, Ms CJ Lowe and Dr CE Franklin

Antarctic fish, living in water that varies by less than 1oC annually and with a body temperature of -1.9oC, are often regarded as the ultimate thermal specialist. Not surprisingly, past research has shown that rapid increases in water temperature of only a few degrees have a negative impact on the performance and survival of Antarctic fish. Here we show that after being exposed to warmer water for several weeks, Antarctic fish compensate for the initial negative impact of elevated temperatures and regain their original performance levels despite being several degrees warmer. These findings indicate that rising temperatures do not necessarily have a long term negative impact, and that the concept of physiological compensation should be included in prognoses of the impact of global warming on biodiversity.

Contact: Dr Frank Seebacher, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, School of Biological Sciences A08, SYDNEY NSW2006, Australia

Macaques (Macaca nemestrina) recognise when they are being imitated by Miss A Paukner, Dr JR Anderson, Miss E Borelli, Dr E Visalberghi and Dr PF Ferrari

Although imitation remains elusive in monkeys, this experiment found that monkeys recognise when they are being imitated. Ten pigtailed macaques were tested by two experimenters. One experimenter imitated the monkeys' actions with an object, the other performed temporally contingent but structurally different object-directed actions. The results show that the monkeys looked significantly longer at the imitating experimenter. However, unlike humans and apes who also recognise imitation, the monkeys did not 'test' the imitator's contingent movements. This suggests that monkeys might recognise matching motor movements, but they do not understan

Contact: Tim Watson
Royal Society

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