Navigation Links
Fish diet to avoid fights
Date:5/12/2008

People diet to look more attractive. Fish diet to avoid being beaten up, thrown out of their social group - and getting eaten as a result.

That is the fascinating conclusion of the latest research into fish behavior by researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University, described in the journal Current Biology.

The same team who recently revealed fish use the threat of punishment to keep competitors in the mating game in line, have taken the work a step further to discover that subordinate fish deliberately go on a diet to avoid posing a challenge to their larger rivals.

In studying gobies we noticed that only the largest two individuals, a male and female, had mating rights within the group, explains Dr Marian Wong. All other group members are non-breeding females, each being consistently 5-10 per cent smaller than its next largest rival. We wanted to find out how they maintain this precise size separation.

The reason for the size difference was easy to see. Once a subordinate fish grows to within 5-10 per cent of the size of its larger rival, it provokes a fight which usually ends in the smaller goby being expelled from the group and the safety of the coral it occupies. More often than not, the evicted fish is then gobbled up by a predator.

It appeared that the smaller fish were keeping themselves small in order to avoid provoking the boss fish. Whether they did so because of stress caused by the bullying of larger fish - or voluntarily, by restraining how much they ate was not clear.

The team of Dr Wong, Dr Philip Munday, Dr Peter Buston and Professor Geoff Jones decided to try to fatten up some of the subordinate gobies to see what happened. To their surprise, the gobies simply refused the extra tidbits they were offered, apparently preferring to remain small and avoid fights, over having a feast.

The discovery challenges the traditional scientific view of how dominant individuals retain their position in a hierarchy. Previously it was thought that large individuals simply used their weight and size to terrorise their subordinates and grab more of the food for themselves, so keeping their rivals small.

The CoECRS team has established that subordinate members of the group can voluntarily go on a diet to avoid provoking conflict.

While the habits of gobies among the less glamorous of coral reef fish may seem a little arcane, Dr Wong explains that understanding the relationships between dominant and subordinate animals is important to understanding how hierarchical societies remain stable. Gobies provide the perfect experimental species as they are easy to observe and can be trained to feed from artificial food sources.

The research has highlighted the fact that voluntary dieting is a habit far from exclusive to humans and appears to reach back at least as far as our fishy ancestors, although different species may diet for quite different reasons.

As yet, we lack a complete understanding of how widespread the self-imposed reduction of food intake is in nature, and how it benefits individuals, the researchers comment.

Data on human dieting suggests that, while humans generally diet to improve health or increase attractiveness, rarely does it improve long-term health and males regularly prefer females that are fatter than the females own ideal.


'/>"/>

Contact: Marian Wong
marian.wong@graduates.jcu.edu.au
905-921-3858
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Removal of superficial tumors in esophagus by endoscopy can avoid extirpation of this part
2. RF Technologies Assists Healthcare Providers in Avoiding Preventable Injury Conditions to be Denied Reimbursement by Medicare
3. Dietary oil may need help in avoiding any side effects of weight loss
4. Seniors Avoid ER at Start of Month
5. White Paper Helps Building Owners Avoid Costs, Downfalls of Construction Projects
6. How to effectively avoid many common complications and liver damage in bile duct exploration?
7. The Disappearing Toothbrush: Survey Reveals Kids Top Excuses to Avoid Brushing
8. NIH-funded Vanderbilt Research Seeks Ways to Avoid Information Overload in Health Care Choices Among Seniors
9. Avoid Dangerous Chemicals and Embrace Organic Skin Care
10. U of I study: exercise to avoid gallstones!
11. Study finds patients with complex fibroadenomas can avoid surgery
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to ... Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to ... fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network ... the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased ... location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland ... iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness ... & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set ... drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, ... traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned ... receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and ... by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and ... Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), ... Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected ... CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: ... its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated ... shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first IVD ... solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ANGELES , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused ... therapeutics, today announced that patient enrollment in its ... in Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient ... enrollment in the third quarter of 2016, and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: