Rock-climbing fish caught in evolution tug-of-war

Short is good for scaling waterfalls, but tall is better for evading predators along the way

9:04pm, January 5, 2009

BOSTON — Evolution has stuck Hawaiian fish called stream gobies between a rock and a scary place.

A Sicyopterus stimpsoni goby shorter than a thumb has to climb the rocks of waterfalls, sometimes several hundred feet high, on a juvenile migration upstream. But to reach those falls, the fish has to pass through a kill zone of lowland waterways full of predatory fish, explains Richard Blob of Clemson University in South Carolina.

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