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Study: Fish Watch Each Other’s Back While Feeding
By Joseph Tepper, September 30, 2015 @ 09:35 PM (EST)
Source: Science World Report

Those fish got each other’s back. A new study finds that certain species of fish pair up to protect each other while vulnerable, especially during feeding.

Feeding rabbitfish have been observed taking turns munching and keeping lookout, social behavior once thought to be exclusive to birds and mammals. This “reciprocal cooperation” requires trust, an investment in another being, and pre-planning—all skills rarely associated with reef fish.

"We found that rabbitfish pairs coordinate their vigilance activity quite strictly, thereby providing safety for their foraging partner," researcher Dr. Simon Brandl from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies explained. "In other words, one partner stays 'on guard' while the other feeds – these fishes literally watch each others' back."

The behavior makes sense. After all, it is a fish eat fish world.




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