US

The fascinating social life of a fish

US
By US Desk
Fri, 11, 20

And they don't have to swim in schools or even be part of the same species to do this!

BITS ‘N’ PIECES

Did you know: animals experience peer pressure too? In fact, for reef fish, their survival depends on it! According to marine biologist Mike Gil, these fish copy each other all the time, constantly interpreting the tiniest movements, eating habits and cues of their fellow fish, and turning it into information about food sources or incoming predators. And they don't have to swim in schools or even be part of the same species to do this! If even one fish sees a predator and flees, this can alert many others to danger. And a fish safely entering feeding grounds can show others that the coast is clear.

Zombie insects

It's true: Zombies exist. Well, zombie insects. And no one is safe — well, no bugs anyway. The emerald cockroach wasp — the small green insect — seeks out cockroaches so it can *stab their brains* with its stinger and control their minds. It doesn't kill the roach, nor does it sedate it. The roach could walk away or fly or run if it chose to but it doesn't choose to, because the venom nixes its motivation to walk, and only that. The wasp basically unchecks the escape-from-danger box in the roach's operating system. Scary!