Fish Stay Together Through Communication

By Francis Yupangco 6 years ago1 Comment

Ascension Island, Central East Atlantic, CU shoal of big eye fishAccording to a study conducted by the University of Auckland, researchers have found that fish stay safe from predators by using communication with other fish to maintain group cohesion. Scientists were already aware that fish can send signals to each other in order to warn of predators or for mating purposes. Researchers conducted the study by using wild Bigeyes, a common species in New Zealand. Bigeyes are nocturnal, and search for food at night in shoals of fish.
The researchers placed 100 Bigeyes in a tank and studied the behavior of the fish for five months while using a GoPro, MP3 player and underwater hydrophones. Two sounds were played in the tank, one being the regular sound of the reef environment and the other playing recorded Bigeye vocalizations. When the sound recordings were played, researchers found that the Bigeyes swam together and increased their calling rates by five times so they could communicate over the background noise. Meanwhile, when there were no recordings played, the fish swam apart. “This study means that fish are now the oldest vertebrate group in which this behavior has been observed and that has interesting implications for our understanding of evolutionary behavior among vertebrates,”  Lucy van Oosterom, lead author of the study, said in a news release. MORE

  Fish, Science

 Francis Yupangco

  (448 articles)

Francis is a marine biologist with an MBA and over 20 years of professional aquarium experience. Francis is the former Aquatic Development Manager at Hagen USA., makers of Fluval brand aquarium products. He co-stars on Nat Geo WILD's reality TV series Fish Tank Kings where he is the resident "Fish Geek" and was Director of Marketing at Living Color Aquariums. He is an avid explorer having visited over 45 countries and lived in 7. At 17, he was among the youngest aquarists ever hired by the Vancouver Aquarium, where he worked for 7 years. His aquatic biology experience ranges from larval fish rearing to the design, construction and operational management of renowned public aquariums around the world. Francis is currently head of marketing at the world's largest vertically integrated fish farming company.

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