Event Title

Zebrafish (D. Rerio) Preferentially Associate with Bolder, but not Familiar Conspecifics

Presenter Information

Aviva Blonder, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 243

Start Date

4-27-2018 5:30 PM

End Date

4-27-2018 6:50 PM

Abtract

A wide range of fish species form social aggregations that confer various benefits onto the individual members. For example, many fish species inspect potential predators in groups to decrease the risk to each individual of being eaten. Approaching predators more closely to inspect them is considered bolder or more cooperative because the individual closest to the predator is at the highest risk of being eaten and therefore decreases the risk to the other inspecting fish. Individuals of several species that engage in predator inspection have been shown to prefer to associate with bolder conspecifics. I tested whether social zebrafish prefer to shoal with bolder versus more familiar conspecifics. In two experiments, I evaluated whether they prefer to shoal with bolder individuals by exposing trios of zebrafish, each including one focal and two unfamiliar partner fish, to a predator and preventing one of the partner fish from inspecting it. I then measured how much time the focal fish spent with each partner fish after the predator was removed. In a third experiment I evaluated whether zebrafish prefer to shoal with familiar individuals by measuring how much time the focal fish spent with a familiar partner fish relative to an unfamiliar partner fish in the absence of information about boldness. These experiments suggest that zebrafish prefer to shoal with bolder conspecifics, but have no preference for more familiar ones. A preference for shoaling with more cooperative individuals may enable reciprocal altruism in zebrafish or just decrease that individual’s chances of being eaten.

Keywords:

zebrafish, cooperation, shoaling preference, social behavior, predator inspection

Notes

Session VII, Panel 22 - Vertebrate | Biology
Moderator: Yolanda Cruz, Robert S. Danforth Professor of Biology

Major

Evolution of Cognition (Individual Major)

Advisor(s)

Keith Tarvin, Biology
Paul Thibodeau, Psychology

Project Mentor(s)

Keith Tarvin, Biology

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Apr 27th, 5:30 PM Apr 27th, 6:50 PM

Zebrafish (D. Rerio) Preferentially Associate with Bolder, but not Familiar Conspecifics

King Building 243

A wide range of fish species form social aggregations that confer various benefits onto the individual members. For example, many fish species inspect potential predators in groups to decrease the risk to each individual of being eaten. Approaching predators more closely to inspect them is considered bolder or more cooperative because the individual closest to the predator is at the highest risk of being eaten and therefore decreases the risk to the other inspecting fish. Individuals of several species that engage in predator inspection have been shown to prefer to associate with bolder conspecifics. I tested whether social zebrafish prefer to shoal with bolder versus more familiar conspecifics. In two experiments, I evaluated whether they prefer to shoal with bolder individuals by exposing trios of zebrafish, each including one focal and two unfamiliar partner fish, to a predator and preventing one of the partner fish from inspecting it. I then measured how much time the focal fish spent with each partner fish after the predator was removed. In a third experiment I evaluated whether zebrafish prefer to shoal with familiar individuals by measuring how much time the focal fish spent with a familiar partner fish relative to an unfamiliar partner fish in the absence of information about boldness. These experiments suggest that zebrafish prefer to shoal with bolder conspecifics, but have no preference for more familiar ones. A preference for shoaling with more cooperative individuals may enable reciprocal altruism in zebrafish or just decrease that individual’s chances of being eaten.