Offbeat: Lovelorn fish turn gloomy when separated: study - PressFrom - Canada
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OffbeatLovelorn fish turn gloomy when separated: study

18:41  12 june  2019
18:41  12 june  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Female cichlids who lose their mates are measurably more pessimistic, researchers say.

Everyone on this planet has gloomier outlook except the rich of course, who are denying their negative effect on the environment. “We're just two lost souls Swimming in a fish bowl Year after year Running over the same old ground What have we found?

Lovelorn fish turn gloomy when separated: study© SAM YEH The convict cichlid is known as a loyal lover

The tiny Central American convict cichlid may only be a few centimetres long but it's a fish with a big heart.

Researchers in France found that the tropical fish -- known to be a loyal and monogamous partner -- suffers from heartache when separated from its lover.

Even more heart-rending perhaps is that female cichlids, when paired with a male who is not their preferred partner, were shown in experiments to exhibit "pessimistic" behaviour.

Scientists believe that over the course of evolution fish species such as the convict cichlid have developed loyal partnerships as a way to better protect their young, which are extremely vulnerable to predators.

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University of Regina researchers investigating invasive fish in Saskatchewan The group has set up 11 stations along the South Saskatchewan River from the Alberta border to Tobin Lake looking for Prussian Carp. “Based on what we've seen in other jurisdictions, they have the capacity to overtake our ecosystems and specifically our aquatic ones. They actually outcompete all the other species," said graduate student Shayna Hamilton. "So there have been studies that have shown they make up 95 per cent of the fish in the ecosystem in as little as 10 years.

When you finally amass the courage to hold your heart in your hands as you make your stand before them, and nothing less than an "I love you, too," will suffice, but there's Even though you're lovelorn because their love wasn't provided in reciprocation, that doesn't make your love for them any less real.

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To effectively measure each fish's mental response to separation, researchers from the University of Burgundy in Dijon trained females to use their mouths to open two small boxes, placed either side of their tanks.

Lovelorn fish turn gloomy when separated: study© Handout To effectively measure each fish's mental response to separation, researchers from the University of Burgundy in Dijon trained females to use their mouths to open two small boxes, placed either side of their tanks

The "positive" box contained fish food, and the "negative" box was empty. The boxes had either black or white lids to help the fish distinguish between them.

The team then placed a grey "ambiguous" box in the centre of the tank to see how the females would react.

They reasoned that a fish with an optimistic outlook would flip open the grey lid in the hope of snaffling a treat, whereas a pessimistic one might hesitate or leave the box alone altogether.

Their study, published in the journal Proceedings of Royal Society B, showed that female fish spend much more time trying to lift off the grey lids when their favoured males were in the tanks with them.

While the tale of the cichlid's lovelorn travails may warm the heart, the fish are anything but lovely: they have sharp teeth and have been shown to be extremely territorial.

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