Document Detail

Zebrafish larvae evade predators by sensing water flow.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23325859     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
The ability of fish to evade predators is central to the ecology and evolution of a diversity of species. However, it is largely unclear how prey fish detect predators in order to initiate their escape. We tested whether larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) sense the flow created by adult predators of the same species. When placed together in a cylindrical arena, we found that larvae were able to escape 70% of predator strikes (mean escape probability P(escape)=0.7, N=13). However, when we pharmacologically ablated the flow-sensitive lateral line system, larvae were rarely capable of escape (mean P(escape)=0.05, N=11). In order to explore the rapid events that facilitate a successful escape, we recorded freely swimming predators and prey using a custom-built camera dolly. This device permitted two-dimensional camera motion to manually track prey and record their escape response with high temporal and spatial resolution. These recordings demonstrated that prey were more than 3 times more likely to evade a suction-feeding predator if they responded before (P(escape)=0.53, N=43), rather than after (P(escape)=0.15, N=13), a predator's mouth opened, which is a highly significant difference. Therefore, flow sensing plays an essential role in predator evasion by facilitating a response prior to a predator's strike.
William J Stewart; Gilberto S Cardenas; Matthew J McHenry
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  216     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2013 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-17     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  388-98     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Ecology and Evolution, 321 Steinhaus Hall, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-2525, USA.
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