Wainwright Lab

University of California, Davis

Month: June 2011

Evolution Meeting 2011, Norman, OK

A majority of the lab is presenting at the Evolution Meetings in Norman, OK this weekend.  Almost all of our talks use a group of fish as a model system (Labrids, Haemulids, pupfish, sticklebacks, Xiphophorus, and reef fish), but our topics are very broad;  including sexual selection, morphological diversity, ecological novelty, nocturnality, phylogenetic comparative methods and ecological speciation. Below is a list of our talks at the meeting. Bold indicates presenting author. Hope to see you there.

Chris Martin and Peter Wainwright
Beyond ecological opportunity: adaptive radiation and the origins of novel ecological niches.
Sunday, June 19th, 1:45 pm, in room Oklahoma D, Ecological Speciation session.

Matt McGee
Functional morphology and kinematics of feeding in stickleback: implications for ecological
speciation.
Sunday, June 19th, 2:00 pm, in room Oklahoma D, Ecological Speciation session.

Lars Schmitz and Peter Wainwright
The effect of diel activity pattern on eye shape

in reef fishes.
Monday, June 20th, 11:00 am, in room University C, Morphological Evolution II session.

Samantha Price, Peter Wainwright, Roi Holzman, Jose Tavera, Thomas Near
Reef habitats promote the evolution of morphological diversity in fishes.
Monday, June 20th, 11:15 am, in room University C, Morphological Evolution II session.

Carl Boettiger
A new phylogenetic comparative method to estimate key evolutionary transitions involving a release of constraint. (slides)
Monday, June 20th,  4:00 pm, in room Oklahoma A, Phylogenetic Methods V session

Chris Oufiero, Kristine Jugo, Mark Chappell, Theodore Garland, Jr.

Does the evolution of a sexually selected trait compromise sprint and endurance performance in Xiphophorus swordtails and their close relatives?
Tuesday, June 21st, 9:15 am, in room University A, Sexual Selection & Behavior session.

Is this fish crazy?

This post is cross-posted with my personal website’s Blog.

We recently got some new fish in the lab, Butis butis, commonly called the crazy fish or Duckbill Sleeper. This is a fresh water fish, originating from East Africa to Fiji and belongs to the Eliotridae. These fish get to a maximum size of about 15 cm total length, live in brackish mangrove swamps and estuaries, feeding on small fish and crustacean, and is commonly found in the hobby industry.

The question is, are these fish in fact crazy? These fish tend to be unique because they can be seen swimming, floating, and even eating upside down. This behavior has been noted in nature and in aquariums, where they will also be seen pressed up the glass. They tend to be ambush predators and are often found floating among plants, in any position. Having them in the lab, we have begun filming them and have been able to capture their feeding right-side up and upside down. What will be interesting to see is if the kinematics of their feeding differs between the orientations, as well as if one orientation is better than the other at eliciting successful strikes. In the meantime, enjoy the videos of these crazy fish feeding in the two orientations.

Upside down filmed at 1000 frames per second, played back at 10 frames per second.

Right-side up filmed at 1000 frames per second, played back at 10 frames per second.

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