Wednesday, May 1, 2013

“Get out your seat and jump around”

Why do guppies jump?

The study of movement (kinematics) in fish has been an interest to researchers for years. Propulsion, buoyancy, physiology and adaptation have been well researched. According to Bierman, 2013, less is known about the jumping behavior of fish.

Jumping in fish has previously been linked to catching nonaquatic prey, predator avoidance and obstacle negotiation during migration. In Bierman’s study of the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulate), they propose the jumping behavior has evolved for another reason. 

“These fish will spontaneously jump out of the water without being stimulated by a startle stimulus, or areal prey items and are not under seasonal migration pressure”. The jumping begins with a backwards swim phase and includes no other external stimulation. Bierman hypothesizes that this jumping is deliberate and may be a strategy of dispersal. 

For a more in depth analysis of guppy jumping, please see the original article listed below.

Here is a video of a guppy jumping.



Soares, D. and Bierman, H., 2013. Ariel Jumping in the Trinidadian Guppy (Poecilia reticulate). PlosOne. 8(4). Open Access. Available here: http/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0061617
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