Saturday, 5 March 2016

Research team sheds light on 'rightie' or 'leftie' behavior in a scale-eating cichlid

Date: February 26, 2016
Source: Nagoya University

Behavioral laterality, or left- or right-handedness, has been reported in many animals, including humans, chimpanzees, toads, rats, mice, and invertebrates such as crustaceans and insects. The existence of this phenomenon even in lower animals suggests it arose early in life’s evolutionary history and that it confers survival advantages. 

However, exactly how it is acquired in the early life-stages is not known. A recent article inPLOS ONE reported how a team of Nagoya University-led researchers used a Tanganyikan scale-eating cichlid, Perissodus microlepis, as a model organism for behavioral laterality. The group discovered gradual acquisition of the trait during development as the fish learn the more effective side of their mouth for tearing off scales.

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