Navigation Links
The faster they come

Being the neighbourhood bully has its obvious advantages, but it becomes useless if your authority is continuously being challenged. In many animal species, however, stable hierarchies are routinely formed in which some individuals seem to slip naturally into their dominant role whereas others resign themselves to play the part of lowly subordinates. But why do the latter embrace this fate so readily instead of putting up a fight? A research team from the University of Sydney is trying to find the answer to this question by studying the interactions between male mosquitofish to see if their behavioural strategy can be traced down to their physical skills.

When the speed of escape in response to an attack was measured, the researchers found that subordinate fish were significantly faster than the dominant ones. "This is particularly interesting because we predicted the opposite: that dominant fish were the ones that would prove to be more athletic" explains Dr. Frank Seebacher, who led the research team. "Our data indicate either that there may be a training effect because subordinate fish have to escape quickly and often, or that slower fish become more aggressive because they cannot manoeuvre quickly." The researchers also analysed whether damage to the tail and fins may affect the social position of a given individual, and found that, indeed, aggressive behaviours tend to decline as fin damage sustained in fights accumulates. In other words: if a male has to fight too often to maintain his dominant status, he will probably end up losing it in the end. These results will be presented by Elektra Sinclair at the Society of Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in Glasgow on Sunday 28th June 2009.

The scientists are currently trying to better characterize the physiological differences between the two groups to find out whether they are hereditary or acquired. They are also planning to address this question by conducting breeding studies designed to distinguish between underlying genetic differences in locomotor performance and plastic changes occurring during the lifetime of the individual as a result of its social status. Ultimately, their aim is to determine if relative position within the stable hierarchy is largely influenced by their inherited genes, or if each generation has to work it out all over again.


Contact: Cristian C. A. Bodo
Society for Experimental Biology

Related biology news :

1. New wheat disease could spread faster than expected
2. Shellfish and inkjet printers may hold key to faster healing from surgeries
3. New open-source software permits faster desktop computer simulations of molecular motion
4. Ocean growing more acidic faster than once thought
5. New type of vaccines deliver stronger and faster immune response
6. Emissions rising faster this decade than last
7. TGen investigators devise faster, cheaper way of analyzing the human genome
8. Big-brained animals evolve faster
9. Wasps and bumble bees heat up, fly faster with protein-rich food
10. Establishing faster-growing, durable football fields
11. New 3-D test method for biomaterials flat out faster
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/27/2015)... -- Munich, Germany , October ... automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos created ... that they can be quantitatively analyzed with SMI,s analysis ... , October 28-29, 2015. SMI,s Automated Semantic Gaze ... tracking videos created with SMI,s Eye Tracking Glasses ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... 2015  Delta ID Inc., a company focused on ... PC devices, announced its ActiveIRIS® technology powers the iris ... launched by NTT DOCOMO, INC in Japan ... smartphone to include iris recognition technology, after a very ... in May 2015, world,s first smartphone to have this ...
(Date:10/22/2015)...  Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer of human ... September 30, 2015. --> --> ... 66 percent over the comparable quarter last year to $470.0 million. ... million, or $0.62 per diluted share. --> ... of fiscal 2016 grew 39 percent over the prior year period ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... International Society for ... of the premier annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual Meeting. The conference ... ISPE hosted the largest number of attendees in more than a decade. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of ... Interest Group (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person ... few years. Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... FRANCISCO , Nov. 24, 2015  Twist ... announced that Emily Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief ... Jaffray Healthcare Conference on December 1, 2015 at ... Hotel in New York City. --> ... . Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 Capricor Therapeutics, ... focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class ... Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to present at the ... at 10:50 a.m. EST, at The Lotte New York ... . . --> ...
Breaking Biology Technology: