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Scientists assess isle fish's rock-climbing prowess

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:34 p.m. HST, Jan 06, 2013

Climbing waterfalls, eating algae— it’s all the same to the remarkable Nopili rock-climbing goby, scientists from Clemson University have learned.

In an article published in the open-access journal Plos One, lead author Richard Blob and colleagues report that the unusual fish is able to climb waterfalls as tall as 100 meters (roughly 330 feet) using the same jaw muscles and movements it uses to feed on algae.

It is unclear whether feeding movements were adapted for climbing or vice versa, the scientists note.

“We found it fascinating that this extreme behavior of these fish, climbing waterfalls with their mouth, might have been co-opted through evolution from a more basic behavior like feeding,” said Blob in a news release. “The first step in testing this was to measure whether the two behaviors really were as similar as they looked.”

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artmurch wrote:
Well ... were they as similar as they looked? (How did you measure difference?) Conclusions? You’ve left us hanging!
on January 7,2013 | 06:06AM
avius808 wrote:
From their research article on plus one... "Although current data cannot resolve whether oral movements for climbing were coopted from feeding, or feeding movements coopted from climbing, similarities between feeding and climbing kinematics in S. stimpsoni are consistent with evidence of exaptation, with modifications, between these behaviors".
on January 7,2013 | 06:33AM
cojef wrote:
Beats me how they do it. It's like the the chicken and the egg fable, which came first?
on January 7,2013 | 07:58AM
noheawilli wrote:
Dont tell the DLNR they might close the area to keep those fish from rock climbing ike they have done with us.
on January 7,2013 | 08:28AM
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