In a pack hunt, it’s every goatfish for itself | Science News


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In a pack hunt, it’s every goatfish for itself

These fish hunt selfishly with a touch of accidental helpfulness

7:00am, March 6, 2018

SEL-FISH Pure self-interest could explain the smoothly coordinated moves and effective collaboration in hunting packs of yellow saddle goatfish.

The only fish known to hunt with wolf pack moves may not be true team players, just lemon-yellow me-firsts.

Yellow saddle goatfish (Parupeneus cyclostomus) do more than school together as they dart over Indo-Pacific coral reefs. Like wolves, the goatfish take different roles in a pursuit. One or two fish may rush straight toward prey as the others shoot to the sides, blocking escape.

“They look harmless, but they’re vicious predators,” says Redouan Bshary of the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. “That’s why it’s fun to follow them — there’s always action.”

He and his colleagues have documented other fishy hunting partnerships, such as groupers pairing with crevice-wriggling moray eels. Goatfish collaborate with their own species, though probably

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