Document Detail

Landmark use and development of navigation behaviour in the weakly electric fish Gnathonemus petersii (Mormyridae; Teleostei).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12432013     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
African mormyrids, such as Gnathonemus petersii, migrate: nocturnally, from daytime shelters to find food and return by morning, and seasonally, spawning in swamps flooded during the rainy season. The present study examined whether the fish use landmarks detected via electrolocation to locate an aperture, whether they detect changes in landmark size and respond appropriately, whether landmarks or hydrostatic pressure are the primary cues for navigation and whether fish of different developmental stages behave differently with respect to landmarks and navigation. The fish's task was to locate and swim through a circular aperture in a wall dividing an aquarium into two compartments. Two groups of fish were trained to find the aperture with a landmark present, while a control group had no such landmark. The water level remained constant throughout training. At the end of training, the fish's task was to locate the aperture after the landmark size had changed or the water level had increased. The results show that G. petersii use landmarks to orient and navigate. They can detect changes in landmark size and will modify their locomotor behaviour to integrate the change into an internal representation. If the water level changes, increasing hydrostatic pressure, the fish orient to a landmark, if present. If no landmark is present, the fish rely on an internal representation oriented to hydrostatic pressure. Larger, early-adult G. petersii located the aperture faster than smaller, sub-adult fish.
Peter Cain; Sapna Malwal
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  205     ISSN:  0022-0949     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2002 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-11-14     Completed Date:  2004-01-09     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3915-23     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Electric Fish / physiology*
Hydrostatic Pressure
Locomotion / physiology
Orientation / physiology
Spatial Behavior / physiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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