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May 27, 2020 -

Cichlid fish loves exaggerated shells

Cichlid fish loves exaggerated shells
Family of Neolamprologus multifasciatus Credit: Richard A. Ingebrigtsen (CC BY-SA 3.0)

What is important when you choose a home? Space, security, light – or a combination of these? Like humans, animals make choices about where to live that have important implications for their livelihoods. But unlike humans, animals do not easily reveal the basis of their choice.

Now, researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Konstanz and the University of Konstanz have created a paradigm that can disentangle the strands of animal decision-making. By using CT scanning, 3D modelling and 3D printing, they have created artificial shelters that vary in precise ways, and used these structures to reveal the underlying preferences of animals.

The findings are reported in a paper by Humboldt post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Aneesh Bose; bachelor students of the University of Konstanz, Johannes Windorfer and Alex Boehm; and Alex Jordan, Principal Investigator in the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and the DFG Cluster of Excellence “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour” at the University of Konstanz. The study also included co-authors from the University of Basel.


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