Social structure in wild zebrafish shoals

Sen, Raunak (2019) Social structure in wild zebrafish shoals. Masters thesis, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata.

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Group living is widespread in the animal kingdom, but very few studies have looked at the social structure in natural populations of fish. We have tried to use a new approach of using networks to quantify association patterns in zebrafish groups, which is a common laboratory fish but new to behavioural ecology studies. We have found sparse social connections but possibly efficient information transfer in shoals of zebrafish by quantifying their associations. Predation is thought to be a major ecological factor driving social evolution and made us compare the behavioural changes which occur on exposure to a live predator, which ultimately gets selected as give rise to anti-predator strategies. While a lot of studies focus on group level phenomenon we have also looked at individual level behaviour and found that exploration tendency and association frequency increases post predator exposure but with a decreased tendency to group. Sampling for more information about the predator and decision making could drive these behavioural changes. Our studies serve as baseline studies to use zebrafish as a model for studying social behaviour, using networks to quantify social structure and understanding micro-level behaviour which give rise to emergent group-level behaviour.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Supervisor: Dr. Anuradha Bhat
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animal Behaviour; Group Living; Social structure; Wild Zebrafish Shoals; Zebrafish
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Department of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: IISER Kolkata Librarian
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2020 11:17
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2020 11:17

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