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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.

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Thu 24 Jun 2004

Fighting fish research reported in the Straits Times

Category : research

Fighting fish research by Tan Heok Hui, Peter Ng and international colleagues was featured in an article in The Straits Times, "Fighting fish: A model father - Researchers have found that evolutionary history and environmental factors may determine how the male fighting fish takes care of its young." By Chang Ai-Lien, The Straits Times, Fri 18 Jun 2004 [pdf].

"For about 20 years, scientists have argued the fundamental question of which came first: bubble nests or mouth brooding. Overturning conventional wisdom, researchers here have come up with new findings that reveal why male fighting fish care for their young the way they do, which has made the cover of the journal Evolution.

By recreating the fish's evolution through DNA analysis, they found that very similar species of fighting fish could have different childcare habits, depending on their evolutionary history and where they lived."

"We now believe that these extremely adaptable fish have evolved different forms of care, and this is dictated by the niche habitats and conditions where they live." - Peter Ng.

Heok Hui's extensive field work was pointed out - "Regarded as Singapore's 'Indiana Jones' by his colleagues for his treks into the depths of jungles in Thailand, Borneo, Java, Sumatra and Malaysia in his search for new fish, Dr Tan has discovered more than half the existing species through his expeditions in the region."

Reference: Rüber, L., R. Britz, H. H. Tan, P. K. L. Ng & R. Zardoya, 2004. Evolution of mouthbrooding and life-history correlates in the fighting fish genus Betta. Evolution, 58 (4): 799-813. Published in April 2004, see abstract.

Posted at 9:21AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,