Engaged in battle: Siamese fighting fish mirror their opponents’ moves and genes

Written by Katie Gordon

Siamese fighting fish

New research has revealed that during combat fighting fish synchronize their actions and eventually their gene expression. The fighting fish Betta splendens is a species commonly used to study aggression in the lab, due to their unique, cautious and precise style of combat. Now, in a recent study published in PLoS Genetics, researchers from Kitasato University (Tokyo, Japan) have dug deeper into this phenomenon. By monitoring their behavior, the researchers observed that during battle the fighting fish used a series of standard actions such as mouth locking, biting and striking as well as occasional surface breathing. Eventually, the two males...

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