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Female Fish judge Males based on their ability to Design Nests: Study

Female choices flipped from preferring tighter nests under high oxygen conditions, to preferring looser nests when conditions deteriorated

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Representational image. Flickr

London, November 6, 2016: Female fish judge males based on their ability to design nests best suited for the conditions of their environment, suggests a study.

According to the study, male fish build nests to suit local environments — and females judge males on their ability to respond to changing conditions.

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In the study, which is published in the journal Evolution, the researchers showed that low oxygen can change the way in which fish build nests and also change the nesting preferences of female fish.

Male three-spined stickleback fish are unusual in that they build nests and provide all the parental care for the eggs, which are spawned by females, and for the developing baby fish.

The research team found that males change the design of their nests depending on the oxygen content of the water — making looser nests under low-oxygen conditions and more compact nests when oxygen increases.

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“Male sticklebacks have to work really hard as dads, using their fins to fan water through the nest to supply the eggs with the oxygen they need to develop,” said Iain Barber, Researcher at the University of Leicester.

“If the water is low in oxygen, then having a looser, more open nest allows more oxygen to reach the eggs, but it probably comes at the expense of increasing the risk of them being discovered by predators,” Barber added.

Low oxygen can also critically affect important reproductive behaviours, with associated effects on the viability of fish populations and even implications for natural selection and evolution.

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The research has shown that it was not just male construction that was affected when water oxygen levels changed. The most interesting finding was that female fish also changed their preferences for the design of nest they went for.

Female choices flipped from preferring tighter nests under high oxygen conditions, to preferring looser nests when conditions deteriorated. (IANS)

  • Ruchika Kumari

    Such an interesting research

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Conflict and Climate Change Largely Responsible for Rising Global Hunger, Finds Study

Climate change it says is worsening the ability of people to get enough to eat

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global hunger
Somalis fleeing hunger in their drought-stricken nation walk along the main road leading from the Somalian border to the refugee camps around Dadaab, Kenya. VOA

A new report by SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, finds conflict and climate change are largely responsible for rising global hunger.

More than 800 million people around the world are going hungry. SIPRI reports 60% are in conflict-affected countries. It says political instability and conflict-related displacement generate food crises.

The Stockholm research institute says food is often inaccessible to people caught in conflict. It says limited supplies of these commodities cause prices to spiral, making food largely unaffordable.

hunger, climate change
The report finds nearly 11 million people, or more than 43 percent of the population, are undernourished and in a perpetual state of hunger. Pixabay

Climate change it says is worsening the ability of people to get enough to eat. It says hunger is growing as crops and livelihoods in impoverished countries are wiped out by extreme flooding and drought.

The U.N.’s World Food Program reports Yemen suffered the worst food crisis last year, followed in order of severity by DR Congo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Syria, Sudan, South Sudan and northern Nigeria. WFP spokesman, Herve Verhoosel says these eight countries account for two-thirds of all people facing acute hunger.

“Even in conflict-affected areas with limited access such as South Sudan and Yemen, when we can do our job safely and have consistent access to people in need, we can prevent the worst forms of hunger,” he said. “We only see famine now when our staff are not able to reach the food-insecure people due to insecurity or where our access is blocked.”

climate change, hunger
Climate change it says is worsening the ability of people to get enough to eat. Pixabay

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Verhoosel says more than 113 million people in 53 countries suffer from acute hunger and are in urgent need of food, nutrition and livelihood assistance. He notes conflict and insecurity are the main drivers of hunger in 21 of these countries.

WFP is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger. Each year it provides food assistance to nearly 90 million people in areas affected by conflict and natural disasters. (VOA)