Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Aquatic Fish Jump Into Picture of Evolutionary Land Invasion

07.10.2011
Research sometimes means looking for one thing and finding another. Such was the case when biology professor Alice Gibb and her research team at Northern Arizona University witnessed a small amphibious fish, the mangrove rivulus, jump with apparent skill and purpose out of a small net and back into the water.

This was no random flop, like you might see from a trout that’s just been landed. The rivulus seemed to know what it was doing.


Mosquitofish jumping behavior captured by a high-speed camera in the lab.

They hadn’t expected to see that behavior, even from a fish known to spend time out of the water. So before long, what began as a study on the evolution of feeding behavior was shifted to a study of how fish behave when stranded on land. And considering what is implied by the truism “like a fish out of water,” the results came as another surprise.

Some fully aquatic fishes, as the author’s video clips show, also can jump effectively on land even without specialized anatomical attributes. This has significant implications for evolutionary biology, Gibb said, because the finding implies that “the invasion of the land by vertebrates may have occurred much more frequently than has been previously thought.”

The study is summarized in a paper, “Like a Fish out of Water: Terrestrial Jumping by Fully Aquatic Fishes,” that appears online in the JEZ A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology.

Gibb said the study “supports a big-picture theory in evolution,” which is that the nervous system, in its control of bones and muscles, can allow a new behavior to appear without necessarily bringing about a physical change.

In the case of aquatic fish, Gibb said, “This shows that you don’t have to have legs or rigid pectoral fins to move around on land. So if you go back and look at the fossil record to try to say which fish could move around on land, you’d have a hard time knowing for sure.”

The original feeding study began with guppies, then moved to a relative, the mangrove rivulus. Once the rivulus exhibited the tail-flip jumping maneuver, Gibb shifted the focus of the research. Eventually, the guppy came back into the picture. Literally.

“When you do a study like this, you have to ask what your control is,” Gibb said. “If a known amphibious fish is a good jumper, then what’s a bad jumper?”

Enter the guppy, a fully aquatic fish.

“The guppy jumped almost as well as the amphibious fish did,” Gibb said. “And no one has ever suggested that a guppy is an amphibious fish.” As a result, “we put everything we could get our hands on” in front of a high-speed camera, Gibb said. Some of those additional subjects included the mosquitofish, which has been introduced into tributaries of Oak Creek, and a common pet store zebra fish, which is a very distant relative of guppies and mosquitofish.

The mosquitofish “has become our lab rat,” Gibb said. “It’s accessible, it comes from a group that has other jumpers, and it’s been reported that this fish jumps out of the water to get away from predators and then jumps back in.”

That particular escape behavior, Gibb said, has never been filmed. Similar stories about other fish add to mostly anecdotal literature on the topic that “tends to be old and very diffuse.”

Today’s high-speed video systems give Gibb an opportunity to change that. What the cameras reveal is that both species produce a coordinated maneuver in which the fish curls its head toward the tail and then pushes off the ground to propel itself through the air.

Gibb and her team have discussed going into the field to capture video of fish performing this behavior in the wild. But for now Gibb and her colleagues are endeavoring to determine if there is directionality to voluntary locomotion on land and to investigate the genetic basis of the jumping behavior.

“Maybe fishes that are very good at jumping are poor swimmers,” Gibb said. “We want to look at the compromises that may have been made to favor one behavior over another.”

Eric Dieterle | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.nau.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
22.06.2018 | University of Sussex

nachricht New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
22.06.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Superconducting vortices quantize ordinary metal

Russian researchers together with their French colleagues discovered that a genuine feature of superconductors -- quantum Abrikosov vortices of supercurrent -- can also exist in an ordinary nonsuperconducting metal put into contact with a superconductor. The observation of these vortices provides direct evidence of induced quantum coherence. The pioneering experimental observation was supported by a first-ever numerical model that describes the induced vortices in finer detail.

These fundamental results, published in the journal Nature Communications, enable a better understanding and description of the processes occurring at the...

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rapid water formation in diffuse interstellar clouds

25.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Using tree-fall patterns to calculate tornado wind speed

25.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Stealth' material hides hot objects from infrared eyes

25.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>