Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When it comes to selecting a mate, the eyes have it

14.12.2010
For the first time ever, scientists have found a difference in the way males and females of the same species of vertebrate see things – and that sexes likely use that difference to select their mates.

Queen's PhD candidate Shai Sabbah, a Vanier Scholar, led a team of researchers who found that male and female cichlid fishes not only see things differently, but detect light in different ways as well.

"It is difficult to say what colour attracts the female the most, but we know that if we manipulate the colour of the fish by changing the light in the environment, the female fish will fail to choose a male of her own species," says Mr. Sabbah.

In nature, increased water turbidity due to deforestation and human development alters the visual environment of fish and consequently, impairs visually-mediated tasks such as mate choice. That can endanger the survival of the species and eventually lead to a reduction in diversity.

"These fish depend on colour vision for their own survival, so discovering differences in the highly dimensional visual systems of males and females is a significant finding," says Mr. Sabbah.

The research team also discovered that the fish have five different photoreceptor cones in their eyes, the most ever found in a vertebrate. Cones are what enable the eye to detect colours. Humans, by comparison, have just three photoreceptor cones. This gives cichlids the potential for very good discrimination between colours, which they need in order to choose a correct mate.

Cichlids are small, colourful fish found in many lakes around the world and in aquariums in North America. Female cichlids are dull in colour, while males are vibrant and often show colourful body markings.

Colour vision plays a key role in visual behavior. Mr. Sabbah and other members in Craig Hawryshyn's laboratory are currently looking at how differences in visual abilities affect the behavior of male and female cichlids.

The findings were recently published in BMC Biology, an online open access scientific journal that publishes original, peer-reviewed research in all fields of biology.

Kristyn Wallace | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.queensu.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complementing conventional antibiotics
24.05.2018 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>