Wild Things: Wildcats, Pigeons and More...
Cleaner wrasse fish, black widow spiders and even bananas made the news recently as part of the latest wildlife research
- By T.A. Frail, Laura Helmuth, Julie Mianecki, Jesse Rhodes and Erin Wayman
- Smithsonian magazine, September 2011
Crescent-tail bigeye and Cleaner wrasse. ()
It has been known that a small fish called the cleaner wrasse eats parasites off larger reef fish and that it sometimes sneaks a nibble of skin mucus. But cleaners are less likely to cheat if other potential “clients” are watching, according to researchers led by Switzerland’s University of Neuchâtel. Even a fish with a brain fit for a minnow senses it has to earn trust by acting honest.
“Saving threatened species in Afghanistan: snow leopards in the Wakhan Corridor,” Anthony Simms et al., International Journal of Environmental Studies, June 30, 2011
“Flying in a flock comes at a cost in pigeons,” James R. Usherwood et al., Nature, June 22, 2011
“Male black widows court well-fed females more than starved females: silken cues indicate sexual cannibalism risk,” J. Chadwick Johnson et al., Animal Behaviour, August 2011
“Cleaner Wrasses Labroides dimidiatus Are More Cooperative in the Presence of an Audience,” Ana Pinto et al., Current Biology, June 23, 2011
“Multidisciplinary perspectives on banana (Musa spp.) domestication,” Xavier Perrier et al., PNAS, July 12, 2011