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Effects of school size of neon tetras on their response to the presence of a zebra fish. Kelsey and Jenna. Purpose of the experiment. Look at schooling behaviour in neon tetras in the presence of a predator, measured in terms of distance from a predator. Overview. Background Information

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effects of school size of neon tetras on their response to the presence of a zebra fish

Effects of school size of neon tetras on their response to the presence of a zebra fish

Kelsey and Jenna

purpose of the experiment
Purpose of the experiment

Look at schooling behaviour in neon tetras in the presence of a predator, measured in terms of distance from a predator

overview
Overview
  • Background Information
  • Hypothesis
  • Materials
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions
background information
Background Information
  • Schooling: anti-predator strategy
    • Predator confusion
    • More fish reduces individual’s chance of attack
    • More energy invested in feeding and mating
background information1
Background information

Neon Tetras (Cheirodoninnessi)

  • Small, bright, vulnerable to predation
  • Zebra fish (Daniorerio)
  • Aggressive
  • Territorial
background information2
Background Information
  • Neon tetras display schooling behaviour
  • Zheng et. al.
    • Presence of unfamiliar object
    • Increase in school size, decrease in timidity
      • Darting
      • Time between feeding
  • Sloman et. al.
    • Presence of aggressive fish
    • Increase in schooling
hypothesis
Hypothesis

The neon tetras would remain further away from the zebra fish when the neon tetras were present in a small school compared to a large group

materials
Materials
  • Dip net
  • Aquarium
  • 500mL Jar
  • Neon tetras
  • Zebra fish
materials1
Materials
  • The Aquarium:

1

2

3

4

materials2
Materials
  • The Aquarium:

Water temperature maintained at 20⁰C

methods
Methods
  • Neon tetras placed in aquarium
    • School sizes: 2 and 8
    • Acclimation period of 3 minutes
  • Jar containing a zebra fish added in section 4
methods1
Methods
  • Scan sampling
    • Neon tetras in each section recorded every 30 seconds
    • Total of 15 minutes
    • 10 replicates for each school size
    • Control
      • Empty jar
      • 5 replicates for each school size
results
Results
  • Small school:
results1
Results
  • Small school:
    • Chi-square analysis
      • Experimental: X2(3)= 52.4, p<0.05
      • Control: X2(3)= 38.3, p< 0.05
      • Significant preference for section 3
    • Mann-Whitney U
      • p >0.9999
      • Insignificant difference between control and experimental
results2
Results
  • Large school:
results3
Results
  • Large school:
    • Chi-square analysis
      • Experimental: X2(3)= 45.3, p< 0.05
      • Control: X2(3)= 12.0, p<0.05
      • Significant preference for section 3
    • Mann-Whitney U
      • p =0.8857
      • Insignificant difference between control and experimental
discussion
Discussion
  • Due to insignificant difference between control and experimental, hypothesis could not be accepted or rejected
  • Jar was seen as a novel object
    • Saxby et. al.
      • Higher prevalence of darting in presence of unfamiliar object when in small schools
discussion1
Discussion
  • Predator did not cause neon tetras to stay away
  • Possible reasons:
    • Wanted to school with the zebra fish
    • Zebra fish was not threatening enough
      • Zebra fish normally school
      • Separation by the jar
    • Curiosity of the neon tetras
discussion2
Discussion
  • Future avenues of research:
    • Looking at darting behaviour
    • Use a more aggressive species
      • Ex: Angelfish
    • Using a model predator
    • Trials without the jar
    • Collecting more data
conclusions
Conclusions
  • No significant difference in the response to the empty jar versus the predator
  • Neon tetras were attracted to the jar, despite the size of the school
  • Future improvements to the data collection could provide more useful results