Fish exercise can lead to variation

fish exercise

Larval cartilage and bone. Photo by UMass Amherst

A new study from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst may answer why evolution alone doesn’t account for all variability in cichlids. A study recently published describes how fish exercise, for instance jaw muscles, during the larval stage affect bone formation.

The study found that natural variation and experimental manipulation of jaw movement in Lake Malawi cichlid larvae led to differences in size and shape of the fish. They conclude that along with genetic differences, fish exercise is a contributing factor in species variation. The synopsis of the study can be found at Discussion can be done in the Lake Malawi Species forum.


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