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 Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'
21.08.2018 | University of Rochester

nachricht Protein interaction helps Yersinia cause disease
21.08.2018 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases

21.08.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'

21.08.2018 | Life Sciences

A paper battery powered by bacteria

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>