Report on Fish Behavior

Topics: Hypothesis, Null hypothesis, Psychology Pages: 2 (372 words) Published: October 10, 2013
ABSTRACT

This experiment investigates the schooling behavior of fishes. The objective was to investigate if fishes prefer to school with its own species. Briefly, a guppy was allowed to swim freely in a tank in which there were 2 beakers each containing three guppies (beaker 1) and three zebrafish (beaker 3). The times the guppy spent near beaker 1 and 3 were monitored. The null hypothesis is that fishes do not prefer to school with its own species. The results obtained show that the guppy spent 83.3% of the test period in the territory of beaker 1 and 16.6% of the time in territory of beaker 3. The result is statistically significant according to the chi-square test and therefore the null hypothesis is rejected. It is concluded that guppies prefer to school with its own species. However, further investigation is needed to see if this is true of other species. I suggest that the experimental procedure may be improved (1) by repeating the time measurement; (2) by including a zebrafish as test subject; and (3) by repeating the test with 2 test subjects of the same species at the same time. Through this experiment, I learnt that simple observation can provide useful information on behavioral patterns in fishes. The same is likely to apply to other animals and even humans.

INTRODUCTION

This experiment dwells on the scientific concept of behavior. Behavior affects how an organism reacts to its own environment. Similar to human behavior, fishes also have a need to be social and to live together as a school. Thus, schooling is how fishes react to a wild aquatic environment. It is a defense mechanism for fishes to ensure their survival in the wild. In a previous experiment, we tested and proved that fishes prefer to live in schools and not to live in relative isolation. For this experiment, we did a further test on fish behavior, targeting on their preferences in terms of schooling. Guppies and zebrafish were used for the experiment because these two species...
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