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Social deprivation affects cooperative predator inspection in a cichlid fish [Royal Society Open Science]

Keywords : cooperation, predator inspection, social isolation, cichlids social, environment

par Frédéric Magné - publié le , mis à jour le

The social environment individuals are exposed to during ontogeny shapes social skills and social competence in group-living animals. Consequently, social deprivation has serious effects on behaviour and development in animals but little is known about its impact on cooperation. In this study, we examined the effect of social environment on cooperative predator inspection. Predator inspection behaviour is a complex behaviour, which is present in a variety of shoaling fish species. Often, two fish leave the safety of the group and inspect a potentially dangerous predator in order to gather information about the current predation risk. As predator inspection is highly risky, it is prone to conflicts and cheating.(...)

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