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Cichlid fish view unfamiliar faces longer, from further distance than familiar faces

Fish viewing digital models distinguish individuals accurately using facial color patterns

Date:
November 25, 2015
Source:
PLOS
Summary:
Fish viewed digital models with unfamiliar fish faces longer and from a further distance than models with familiar faces, according to a new study.
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This image shows N. pulcher: Variations in facial coloration in four individuals.
Credit: Kohda et al.

Fish viewed digital models with unfamiliar fish faces longer and from a further distance than models with familiar faces, according to a study published November 25, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Masanori Kohda from the Osaka City University, Japan and colleagues.

The theoretical underpinnings of sociality, like territoriality, hierarchy, and reciprocity, are based on assumptions of individual recognition. While behavioral evidence suggests individual recognition is widespread, research on the cues that animals use to recognize individuals are limited. In two experiments, the authors use digital models to test if facial features are a visual cue used for individual recognition in the social fish, the daffodil cichlid. Eight Focal fish were exposed to digital images showing four different combinations of familiar and unfamiliar faces and body colorations.

Focal fish attended to digital models with unfamiliar faces longer and from a further distance to the model than to models with familiar faces. These results suggest that fish may be able to distinguish individuals accurately using facial color patterns. The authors also observed the fish rapidly (? 0.5 sec) discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar individuals; however, the timing of recognition needs further explicit study to investigate how rapidly fish can discriminate familiar and unfamiliar fish in detail.


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Journal Reference:

  1. Masanori Kohda, Lyndon Alexander Jordan, Takashi Hotta, Naoya Kosaka, Kenji Karino, Hirokazu Tanaka, Masami Taniyama, Tomohiro Takeyama. Facial Recognition in a Group-Living Cichlid Fish. PLOS ONE, 2015; 10 (11): e0142552 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142552

Cite This Page:

PLOS. "Cichlid fish view unfamiliar faces longer, from further distance than familiar faces: Fish viewing digital models distinguish individuals accurately using facial color patterns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151125143603.htm>.
PLOS. (2015, November 25). Cichlid fish view unfamiliar faces longer, from further distance than familiar faces: Fish viewing digital models distinguish individuals accurately using facial color patterns. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151125143603.htm
PLOS. "Cichlid fish view unfamiliar faces longer, from further distance than familiar faces: Fish viewing digital models distinguish individuals accurately using facial color patterns." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151125143603.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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