Friday, September 12, 2014

12/09/2014: Coral trout and moray eels communicate

Despite their stunning colours and impressive pouts, the humble trout has never been considered the smartest of creatures. But the species may have been underestimated.

A new study has found that the coral trout could be just as clever as chimpanzees when it comes to teamwork.

UK researchers believe that the trout are able to select the most cooperative moray eels to help hunt for prey and use movements, such as headshakes, to communicate.

Coral trout are torpedo-shaped and about 21in (50cm) long. They have speed to chase down a fish out in the open, while the moray eel boasts a sinuous body to find prey in hard-to-reach places.

The eel benefits by being able to eat the fish chased into reef crevices by the trout. The trout benefits by being able to eat those fish the eel fails to catch.

Coral trout - along with close relative the roving coral grouper - will use gestures and signals to flag the location of prey to an eel, including head shakes and headstands that actually point the eel in the right direction.

Read more HERE.

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