MONTREAL, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Being shy or bold can be a matter of life or death for a trout, Canadian researchers say, with shyness being a better survival strategy.
Fish respond to, and learn from threats, they said, and experiments show bold trout forget predator odor, and hence a potential predator threat, quicker than shy trout.
As predators can be present in different locations and at different times, learning and retaining information about a predator threat, and being able to recall it at a later stage, is key to responding to relevant threats in the future, scientists at Concordia University said.
Writing in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, the researchers said how long juvenile rainbow trout retained information they had previously learned about a predator was influenced by the fish's personality, whether they were "shy" or "bold."
The trout were classified depending on how quickly they escaped from test tanks once a movable Plexiglas barrier was removed. Those who moved quickly displayed risk-taking behavior and were considered bold, while those who moved more cautiously were avoiding risk and thus shy.
The researchers conditioned trout to recognize the odor of a freshwater trout predator fish called a pumpkinseed, and then tested whether they still recognized the odor later.
The fish's personality shaped how long the information was retained, they found; shy trout continued to demonstrate a response to pumpkinseed odor eight days later, while bold trout did not.
|Additional Science News Stories|
TUCSON, May 22 (UPI) --The Pima County Sheriff's Department released 580 photos of the Tucson crime scene where six people died and then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was among the wounded.
NEW YORK, May 22 (UPI) --O.J. Simpson's ex-girlfriend, Christie Prody, says the jailed football star was obsessed with his late ex-wife, Nicole Brown.
SINGAPORE, May 22 (UPI) --The family of an American engineer who died in Singapore walked out of an inquest into his death Wednesday, an action a top official called "regrettable."