Contact: Barbra Gonzalez, UM Rosenstiel School
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Caption: This image shows damselfish larvae (Chromis atripectoralis) swimming freely in the open ocean, all in the same direction. In an article entitled: “Orientation behavior in fish larvae: A missing piece to Hjort's critical period hypothesis” that appears in the latest edition of the Journal of Theoretical Biology, scientists Erica Staaterman, Claire Paris and Judith Helgers demonstrate that despite very low swimming speeds -- about a few centimeters per second -- orientation behavior during early stages is critical to bringing larvae back to their juvenile habitat. In other words, baby reef-fish must possess, as early as possible, the ability to sense cues from the habitat that help them to navigate and survive their phase out in the open ocean.
Credit: Ricardo Paris
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Related news release: Fish larvae find the reef by orienting: The earlier the better