Researchers at the University of Glasgow have made a groundbreaking discovery related to the evolution of many fish species we have nowadays. The first observation they have made was that minnows have learned to swim faster to avoid fish nets. Following the same pattern, scientists have opened a new debate concerning the physiological changes that fish species go through in order to survive.
History has proven on many occasions that species have grown into the form we know them today by escaping their predators and their enemies. These survival skills often consisted in new physiological traits, which explains why modern animals look so different than their ancestors.
While scientists were focusing on determining the evolution of wild and rare species, fish had been acquiring new skills right under our noses. The discovery was finally made by researchers at the University of Glasgow, who have conducted several experiments within their laboratories.
Marine experts were initially interested in determining the techniques that minnows use to escape trawlers’ fishing nets. For that reason, they have recreated an artificial environment in their lab to carefully observe schools of minnows as they dodge fishing nets. The interesting observation they have made was that some fish managed to escape the net all the times, whereas others were captured during all experiments.
Additional experiments have been made because investigators wanted to know what was that these exemplars did that allowed them to survive. Results have shown that the surviving fish were much faster and smaller than the rest of the exemplars in the group. The 43 fish groups that have been studied presented the same characteristic, namely, surviving individuals had a faster metabolism rate which enabled them to swim faster than the fishing net.
Researchers think the recent experiments clearly prove that schools of fish have evolved, according to the factors they have been exposed to. The pressure that fishers have exerted on some fish species most certainly has a lot to do with the new physical abilities of the minnows. In fact, many more species could evolve into fitter forms to escape possible threats, investigators at the University of Glasgow have concluded.
Further researches should be carried out on other species of fish to find out whether they have suffered the same physiological changes. If so be the case, we’re witnessing Charles Darwin’s theory being applied under our very eyes.
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