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Familiarity and shoal cohesion in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas): implications for antipredator behaviour

Title:

Familiarity and shoal cohesion in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas): implications for antipredator behaviour

Chivers, D.P. and Brown, Grant E. and Smith, Jan F. (1995) Familiarity and shoal cohesion in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas): implications for antipredator behaviour. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 73 (5). pp. 955-960. ISSN 0008-4301

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/z95-111

Abstract

We exposed groups of four fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) that were familiar to each other and had been taken from naturally occurring shoals, and groups of four fish unfamiliar to each other, taken from four separate shoals, to either chemical stimuli from pike or a model fish predator (northern pike, Esox lucius). In response to both chemical stimuli from pike and the pike model, minnows from familiar groups showed greater shoal cohesion than those from unfamiliar groups. Tighter shoal cohesion should result in a higher probability of surviving an encounter with a predator. Fish in familiar shoals also exhibited more dashing, a known antipredator response, than those in unfamiliar groups. In addition, groups of familiar fish showed less freezing behaviour than unfamiliar groups. In response to the model fish predator, familiar shoals exhibited a greater number of predator inspections, and the number of inspectors per inspection visit was greater, than those in unfamiliar groups. These results suggest that preferential shoaling with familiar conspecifics leads to an increase in cooperative antipredator behaviour and may thereby lower a minnow's risk of predation.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Chivers, D.P. and Brown, Grant E. and Smith, Jan F.
Journal or Publication:Canadian Journal of Zoology
Date:May 1995
Funders:
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
  • University of Saskatchewan
ID Code:6734
Deposited By:DANIELLE DENNIE
Deposited On:18 Jun 2010 14:44
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 18:14
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