Agriculture
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Silk’s superpowers
Amphibians
Tree Frogs
Bullfrogs
Salamanders
Animals
Walks on the Wild Side
Roach Love Songs
Return of the Lost Limbs
Behavior
Swine flu goes global
Math is a real brain bender
World’s largest lizard is venomous too
Birds
Carnivorous Birds
Geese
Waterfowl
Chemistry and Materials
The memory of a material
Watching out for vultures
Gooey Secrets of Mussel Power
Computers
A Classroom of the Mind
A Light Delay
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Big Fish in Ancient Waters
Message in a dinosaur's teeth
A Big, Weird Dino
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Petrified Lightning
Digging into a Tsunami Disaster
A Great Quake Coming?
Environment
Island Extinctions
Acid Snails
Where rivers run uphill
Finding the Past
A Big Discovery about Little People
Stonehenge Settlement
Prehistoric Trips to the Dentist
Fish
Codfish
Piranha
Lampreys
Food and Nutrition
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
Packing Fat
Yummy bugs
GSAT English Rules
Problems with Prepositions
Order of Adjectives
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
Losing with Heads or Tails
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Human Body
Gut Germs to the Rescue
Hey batter, wake up!
A New Touch
Invertebrates
Leeches
Mussels
Tarantula
Mammals
Minks
Rottweilers
Chihuahuas
Parents
Children and Media
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Physics
Project Music
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Einstein's Skateboard
Plants
The algae invasion
Fast-flying fungal spores
Making the most of a meal
Reptiles
Cobras
Crocodilians
Snapping Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Mercury's magnetic twisters
Chaos Among the Planets
Dark Galaxy
Technology and Engineering
Crime Lab
Algae Motors
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
What is a Verb?
Pronouns
Transportation
Where rivers run uphill
Flying the Hyper Skies
Revving Up Green Machines
Weather
Recipe for a Hurricane
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Add your Article

Fishy Cleaners

Coral reef fish don't take showers. Instead, they swim over to tiny "cleaner" fish, which nibble off their crusty skin deposits. Everyone wins. The little fish get a meal, and their visitors get rid of bothersome parasites. The relationship, however, is not so simple. The fish that do the cleaning actually prefer to dig a little deeper, taking a little nip of the tasty goo covering the skin instead of just skimming off the parasites. New studies now show that coral reef fish pay attention to how the cleaners do their job, preferring to visit those cleaner fish that are less likely to bite. Previous studies had found that, in the wild, cleaner fish seem to react to being watched by taking good care of their customers and biting them less often. The idea that animals show off their good behavior and earn rewards from those who see it "has been floating around," says behavioral ecologist Lee Alan Dugatkin of the University of Louisville in Kentucky. "This is the strongest evidence so far that it's really happening in nature." In one set of tests, researchers used an aquarium with separate sections. In the middle section, they placed a type of coral reef fish called a bridled monocle bream. In the section at each end of the tank, the researchers placed a cleaner fish. Then, the researchers presented each cleaner fish with a visitor fish to clean. One cleaner got a visitor that was already clean. The other got a visitor that was smeared with delicious prawns. The monocle bream in the middle could see the cleaner fish, but the cleaners couldn't see the monocle bream. As expected, the first cleaner mostly ignored its already-clean visitor. The second, on the other hand, munched and munched. In 28 trials, the researchers found, the monocle bream in the center section tended to hover near the cleaner fish that was hard at work—almost as if it were waiting its turn with that cleaner. In another study, the scientists wanted to see what would happen when the cleaners had an audience. They stocked two plates with both ho-hum fish-food flakes and delectable prawns. As long as the cleaner nibbled the flakes, the researchers left the second plate nearby—as if it were a waiting customer. If the cleaner fish gulped a prawn, though, the researchers snatched away the second plate. The fish ate more of the uninspiring flakes when the second plate was nearby than when there was only one plate. This mimics the situation in the real world, the researchers say. On a reef, a cleaner fish that takes a juicy bite out of a visitor's skin could cause an upset that would drive away a waiting customer.—E. Sohn

Fishy Cleaners
Fishy Cleaners








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™