Clownfish Research Paper

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Question: Why does sex change occur in clownfish and what are the behavioral effects that result from the sex change?

Article I
Iwata E, Manbo J. 2013. Territorial behavior reflects sexual status in groups of false clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris) under laboratory conditions. Acta Ethologica 16(2): 97-103. This peer-reviewed article discussed the behavior of clownfish when an intruder was introduced into an already established population. The study analyzed the differences in behavior in females, males, and ambisexual (sexually immature) individuals. According to the results of this study, it was shown that
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In the second paragraph in the article, it is stated that there is a dominant breeding pair, with zero to four non breeders, and size is the determining factor on which fish are the breeding pair. The female is the largest instead of the male, which is common in fish but not so common in mammals. According to the article, if the alpha female dies, the alpha male, the second largest fish, is the one to change sex to female, whereas the biggest non breeder grows and becomes the alpha male. This article shows that a trigger for sex change is the death of an alpha breeder, and what determines which fish undergoes the change is the fish who just so happens to be the largest. This article can be trusted because it comes from a peer reviewed journal, Nature, whose articles are submitted to reviewers who are experts in the field that the author is writing…show more content…
The article explains the phenomena of sex change in clown fish by using an unlikely event as an example, three young clownfish survive their journey into adulthood and establish a population with an unsettled anemone. Rhodes explains that two of the three fish will become male and female, while the third remains unsexual. In the event that the one female dies, the male clownfish becomes the alpha female while the unsexual third fish will become male, a process which reorganizes the gonads of the clownfish, which usually takes about two weeks. It is also mentioned that sex change does affect the behavior of the fish, with the alpha male who will eventually become female takes on the aggressive behavior of an alpha female. The author does mention that not much is known what role the brain takes in the sex change, but that it might have something to do with the excretion of hormones form the pituitary gland. This has led the author and his team to begin a new fish laboratory, which will hopefully begin to answer many of the questions this sex change behavior has raised. This article is not peer reviewed, but it can be trusted because the article names the authors credentials along his publication, which is in a university

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