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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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Global Warming Can Make You Fall ill More Often: Study

The study said that increased heat may cause illness through undernourishment in a number of ways: reducing appetites, provoking more alcohol consumption, reducing motivation or ability to shop and cook and exacerbate any undernutrition

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Global Warming
Global Warming is one of the biggest threats to the reduction of hunger and undernutrition, especially in low and middle-income countries. Pixabay

Global Warming is likely to increase illnesses caused by undernutrition, due to the effects of heat exposure, researchers have warned.

For the study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, the researhers analysed daily hospitalisation data covering almost 80 per cent of Brazil between 2000 and 2015.

They studied the link between daily mean temperatures and hospitalisation for undernourishment according to the International Classification of Diseases.

“The association between increased heat and hospitalisation for undernutrition was greatest for individuals aged over 80, and those 5 to 19 years,” said the researchers from Monash University, Australia.

The researchers found that for every 1 degree Celsius increase in daily mean temperature during the hot season, there was a 2.5 per cent increase in the number of hospitalisations for undernutrition.

“We estimated that 15.6 per cent of undernutrition hospitalisations could be attributed to heat exposure during the study period,” said study’s lead author Yuming Guo.

Global Warming
Global Warming is likely to increase illnesses caused by undernutrition, due to the effects of heat exposure, researchers have warned. Pixabay

The study said that increased heat may cause illness through undernourishment in a number of ways: reducing appetites, provoking more alcohol consumption, reducing motivation or ability to shop and cook and exacerbate any undernutrition, resulting in hospitalisation.

“Climate change is one of the biggest threats to the reduction of hunger and undernutrition, especially in low and middle-income countries. It has been estimated that climate change will reduce global food availability by 3.2 per cent and thus cause about 30,000 underweight-related deaths by 2050,” the report said.

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“It is plausible to speculate that climate changes could not only increase the rate of undernutrition in the most affected areas of the globe, but at the same time, impair individuals’ capacity to adapt to projected rises in temperature,” said the researchers. (IANS)