sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters
Sail-World.com : Scientific research finds that small prey fish can grow a bigger 'eye'
Scientific research finds that small prey fish can grow a bigger 'eye'


'Tiny fish make ‘eyes’ at their killer'    Arc Centre of excellence for coral reef studies
New scientific research has found that small prey fish can grow a bigger ‘eye’ on their rear fins as a way of distracting predators and dramatically boosting their chances of survival.

Researchers from Australia’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) have made a world-first discovery that, when constantly threatened with being eaten, small damsel fish not only grow a larger false ‘eye spot’ near their tail – but also reduce the size of their real eyes.

The result is a fish that looks like it is heading in the opposite direction – potentially confusing predatory fish with plans to gobble them up, says Oona Lönnstedt, a graduate student at CoECRS and James Cook University.

For decades scientists have debated whether false eyespots, or dark circular marks on less vulnerable regions of the bodies of prey animals, played an important role in protecting them from predators – or were simply a fortuitous evolutionary accident.

The CoECRS team has found the first clear evidence that fish can change the size of both the misleading spot and their real eye to maximise their chances of survival when under threat.

'It’s an amazing feat of cunning for a tiny fish,' Ms Lonnstedt says. 'Young damsel fish are pale yellow in colour and have this distinctive black circular ‘eye’ marking towards their tail, which fades as they mature. We figured it must serve an important purpose when they are young.'

'We found that when young damsel fish were placed in a specially built tank where they could see and smell predatory fish without being attacked, they automatically began to grow a bigger eye spot, and their real eye became relatively smaller, compared with damsels exposed only to herbivorous fish, or isolated ones.

'We believe this is the first study to document predator-induced changes in the size of eyes and eye-spots in prey animals.'

When the researchers investigated what happens in nature on a coral reef with lots of predators, they found that juvenile damsel fish with enlarged eye spots had an amazing five times the survival rate of fish with a normal-sized spot.

'This was dramatic proof that eyespots work – and give young fish a hugely increased chance of not being eaten.

'We think the eyespots not only cause the predator to attack the wrong end of the fish, enabling it to escape by accelerating in the opposite direction, but also reduce the risk of fatal injury to the head,' she explains.

The team also noted that when placed in proximity to a predator the young damsel fish also adopted other protective behaviours and features, including reducing activity levels, taking refuge more often and developing a chunkier body shape less easy for a predator to swallow.

'It all goes to show that even a very young, tiny fish a few millimetres long have evolved quite a range of clever strategies for survival which they can deploy when a threatening situation demands,' Ms Lonnstedt says.

Their paper 'Predator-induced changes in the growth of eyes and false eyespots' by Oona M. Lonnstedt, Mark I. McCormick and Douglas P. Chivers appears in the latest issue of the journal Scientific Reports.

For more information visit ARC Centre of Excellence Website


by ARC Centre of Excellence

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=115006

9:55 AM Wed 25 Sep 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World



Where in the world are our strongest corals? by Hanny Rivera - Cohen's Lab,


Test title of the story by Yasir Shaukat, Lahore
Demo website... [more]  














Barnacle Busting by Neil and Ley Langford,


From Penguins to Polar Bears by Cherie Winner,








NCI granted dedicated VHF Channel by National Coastwatch,


Positive news for cruising boats in Greece by The Cruising Association,
























Risks to penguin populations continues by British Antarctic Survey,




Follow these tips when anchoring by Alex and Daria Blackwell,






Galley Guys meet the Spice Lady by Greg Nicoll, Andy Adams and John Armstrong,


North American Rally to the Caribbean - Get prepared to head south
If all else fails read the instructions!!
ARC Baltic fleet cruising and anchoring in the Finnish archipelago
Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature
Sea and Summit leg seven - Rain fails to dampen Tash's spirits
RYA meets with Government over latest red diesel development
Endangered species are like Movie Stars - Charlie Sheens and Tom Hanks
Halong becomes a Super Typhoon; Japan in harm's way
Vanuatu Customs making life easier for visiting cruising yachts
Baltic 4 Nations rally is now in full swing
Tropical Storm Bertha expected to become a typhoon
Flags at Sea, an infographic by John Tissott
Cruising lessons from ocean racers
Procedures set out for waterborne visitors to Vanuatu
17-year-old RNLI volunteer saves child in first rescue mission + Video
Teen names latest RNLI Shannon class lifeboat in Poole + Video
RYA Sea Survival Handbook – 2nd edition now available
Fascinating opportunity with OceansWatch
Lobster Thermidor - Making Julia proud
Fake GPS signals detected when cruising the high seas
Our new Cruising Editor editor remembers his first offshore adventure   
World Odyssey Race - Bringing back the Corinthian spirit   
Blue Planet Odyssey - Jimmy Cornell playing catch up on North West Pa   
Blue Planet Odyssey Rally - Raising climate change awareness   
All Points Rally departs this November   
World ARC 2014 reaches Australia   
Venezuelan Port Control lift recent port restrictions.   
Seismic survey ship operating north of Aruba and Curacao   
A Mooring in Iceberg Alley   
Boaters urged to speak up on 15%ethanol proposal   
Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart   
IMB reports worrying trend of piracy hijacks in Southeast Asia   
Watch this whale lift a Kayak clear out of the water   
World ARC reaches half-way point in Australia   
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles (Part 2) *Feature   
Vietnam Marina Development: ONE°15 Vung Ro Bay Marina Resort   
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life   
Costa Concordia - the $2.25 billion salvage operation ready to begin   
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles, more photos *Feature   
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - New location and attractions   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT