New research from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University has found that pairs of rabbitfishes will cooperate and support each other while feeding.
While such behaviour has been documented for highly social birds and mammals, it has previously been believed to be impossible for fishes.
“We found that rabbitfish pairs coordinate their vigilance activity quite strictly, thereby providing safety for their foraging partner,” says Dr Simon Brandl from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. More.
“By showing that fishes, which are commonly considered to be cold, unsocial, and unintelligent, are capable of negotiating reciprocal cooperative systems, we provide evidence that cooperation may not be as exclusive as previously assumed.”
Cold? Unsocial? Unintelligent?
Okay, we’ll give you “cold.”
Later this fall, O’Leary for News will be publishing a series on animal mind.
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