by Low Lai Chow in New Trends on Wednesday 17 July 2013

Fish don’t make great friends. Well, particularly the ones of the twospot astyanax variety. Robert Young from the University of Salford and Vinícius Goulart from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, were investigating how to deter fish from getting into the machinery when they made this accidental finding.

They started staging trials of predator attacks on the astyanax and found that the South American fish species would target one unlucky fish by crashing into it and biting it — which in turn set the cue for the other fish in the group to pick on it. This made the bullied fish the weakest in the group and the most probable target for predators. That’s pretty elaborate. Well, they did say humans evolved from fish…