Behaviour

Some rockpool prawns prefer to stick with the food they found while others tend to forage for more choices.

Shy prawns fare better than bolder ones

Scientists at the University of Exeter studying rockpool prawns (Palaemon elegant) have discovered that they exhibit different personalities, and those that are "shy" tend to fare better when competing for food.

The findings of their study was published in Volume 140 of the journal Animal Behaviour.

In the study, the prawns, all taken from the Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth, were tagged and tested on their level of boldness by placing them in an unfamiliar tank and observing how much they explored and ventured to the centre.

Tight school of glassfish in the bay of Aqaba
Tight school of glassfish in the bay of Aqaba

How a school of fish moves as one

We’ve all seen those huge schools of fish that move as one and coordinate their movements so perfectly. New research has come up with a way to map the chain of direct interaction in such schools of fish, discovering that the fish pay attention to one or two of their neighbours at a time when the school moves as a group.

Tiger shark dance
Enjoying the 'Shark ballet'

The Value of Shark Dives

So shark dive clubs usually bring some fishy scraps—in most cases the remains left over after big fish have been cut up for sale. The scent attracts the sharks into view and provides a bit of excitement as the animals investigate and try to get a piece. But little actual food or nourishment is given. The sharks circle far and wide through the vast volume of the visible ocean, in a memorable and dramatic display, as they look over the scene, zoom in for a closer look, try for a scrap, and socialize.

Cognition in Sharks

A difficulty in obtaining information about wild animal behaviour is that detailed observations of different individuals is necessary over long periods of time, and this is especially hard to achieve with sharks. But in the shallow lagoons of French Polynesia, such observation was possible without the encumbrance of scuba gear, and without the problem of the shark disappearing into the depths.

Deep Trust In Sharks

Jim Abernethy, owner and operator of Scuba Adventures, was the dive operator who showed all of the others that sharks are peaceful animals who want nothing to do with humans as a food source.

He spends most of his time with wild sharks during dives from his liveaboard ship, The Shear Water, at remote sites in the vicinity of the Bahamas, and is on land for only about 40 days a year.

Sharks can see very well
Sharks can see very well

What are sharks aware of?

Sharks have a very different set of senses than we do, yet the eyesight of the free swimming species is good, so when they look at you, they are seeing you. But you may have the impression that they are using senses other than their eyes most often, and indeed, apart from our shared good eyesight, it is impossible for us to imagine how sharks experience their liquid realm.

European perch
European perch

Fish on psychiatric drugs behave odd

New research conducted by Swedish researchers finds that anxiolytic drugs in surface waters alter animal behaviours that are known to have ecological and evolutionary consequences

Researchers from Umeå University in Sweden examined how perch behaved when exposed to oxazepam, a drug commonly used to treat anxiety disorders in humans.

The scientists exposed the fish to concentrations of the drug similar to those found in the waters near densely populated areas in Sweden.