Wild Things: Wildcats, Pigeons and More... | Science | Smithsonian
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(Cheryl Carlin)

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

Keeping an Eye on the Help

cleaner wrasse
(Reinhard Dishcherl / Photoshot)
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.

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