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Randy male fish try to dupe the competition

Randy male fish try to dupe the competition

作者:明颅脶  时间:2017-09-24 08:02:03  人气:

By Tamsin Osborne Video: Randy male fish try to dupe the competition Ever pretended you didn’t fancy someone so your friends wouldn’t become interested? Well you wouldn’t be alone. Atlantic molly fish have been observed exhibiting deceptive behaviour to deter competitors from pursuing the object of their affections. Martin Plath at the University of Potsdam in Germany and colleagues had previously shown that in the presence of another male, mollies were less inclined to mate and appeared to change their minds about which females they were most interested in. In an attempt to explain this bizarre behaviour, the researchers repeated the study. “The outcome was quite surprising,” says Plath. “Not only did males reduce their sexual activity, but they showed deceptive behaviour.” Male mollies were placed in a tank containing female fish of various sizes. Unlike the previous study, they were allowed to actually mate with the females. Usually, the males made a beeline for the larger, more fertile females. But when another male was lowered into the tank in a glass container, the males redirected their attentions towards smaller females. When no onlooker was present, the males’ preference for larger females remained the same. Plath suggests that males use this behaviour to deceive competitors about their preferred females. “My interpretation is that the male that interacts with a female and then sees that he is observed by another male tries to hide his intentions,” says Plath. “He tries to deceive the other males so that they will not mate with the same female afterwards.” Plath suspects this type of deception is likely to exist in other species, but that remains to be seen. “This is really the first study that has ever shown this behaviour in the context of mate choice in any species,” he says. Journal reference: Current Biology, DOI: