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reef fish

reef fish

Aggressive Behavior in Bolbometopon muricatum (2)

2y ago
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Video S2: Ritualized headbutting of Bolbometopon muricatum at Wake Atoll. We captured an entire headbutting bout on high definition video, consisting of four, successive charges between two males. This video shows detail of charges presented in Video S1 at half speed. - Giant reef fish headbutt their rivals for sex First sighting of ramming behaviour in bumphead parrotfish during competition for females. Nature 08 June 2012 DOI: doi:10.1038/nature.2012.10799 http://www.nature.com/news/giant-reef-fish-headbutt-their-rivals-for-sex-1.10799 Reference Extraordinary Aggressive Behavior from the Giant Coral Reef Fish, Bolbometopon muricatum, in a Remote Marine Reserve PLoS ONE 7(6): e38120. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038120 http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0038120#s4 Abstract Human impacts to terrestrial and marine communities are widespread and typically begin with the local extirpation of large-bodied animals. In the marine environment, few pristine areas relatively free of human impact remain to provide baselines of ecosystem function and goals for restoration efforts. Recent comparisons of remote and/or protected coral reefs versus impacted sites suggest remote systems are dominated by apex predators, yet in these systems the ecological role of non-predatory, large-bodied, highly vulnerable species such as the giant bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) has received less attention. Overfishing of Bolbometopon has lead to precipitous declines in population density and avoidance of humans throughout its range, contributing to its status as a candidate species under the U. S. Endangered Species Act and limiting opportunities to study unexploited populations. Here we show that extraordinary ecological processes, such as violent headbutting contests by the world's largest parrotfish, can be revealed by studying unexploited ecosystems, such as the coral reefs of Wake Atoll where we studied an abundant population of Bolbometopon. Bolbometopon is among the largest of coral reef fishes and is a well known, charismatic species, yet to our knowledge, no scientific documentation of ritualized headbutting exists for marine fishes. Our observations of aggressive headbutting by Bolbometopon underscore that remote locations and marine reserves, by inhibiting negative responses to human observers and by allowing the persistence of historical conditions, can provide valuable opportunities to study ecosystems in their natural state, thereby facilitating the discovery, conservation, and interpretation of a range of sometimes remarkable behavioral and ecological processes. - Supporting Information Video Video S1. http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchSingleRepresentation.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0038120.s001 Ritualized headbutting of Bolbometopon muricatum at Wake Atoll. We captured an entire headbutting bout on high definition video, consisting of four, successive charges between two males. The first three resulted in impact (~5.8/60 s [audible but outside field of view], 19.4/60 s, 26.58/60 s), and the fourth charge resulted in the subordinate male fleeing the contest. Full sequence at normal speed. Given the distinctive sounds from headbutting, once identified, spawning grounds could be monitored with Ecological Acoustic Recorders to assess reproductive effort and aid in the management of this threatened species. Video S2. http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchSingleRepresentation.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0038120.s002 Ritualized headbutting of Bolbometopon muricatum at Wake Atoll. We captured an entire headbutting bout on high definition video, consisting of four, successive charges between two males. This video shows detail of charges presented in Video S1 at half speed.