- Longtime downtown Cape bartender Marcellus Jones remembered by friends (6/12/18)2
- Stormy Daniels to visit East Cape Girardeau (6/13/18)20
- Peter Kinder resigns federal agency post, concludes position unnecessary and waste of tax dollars (6/16/18)2
- Singer Neal Boyd dies after struggle with health issues (6/12/18)1
- Cape man charged with stabbing, killing dog for revenge (6/8/18)9
- Feeding deer in Bollinger, Cape and Perry counties prohibited soon to help curb spread of CWD (6/13/18)7
- Couple charged in beating death at Brick's (6/13/18)
- 'All Nite Skate' filming in Jackson this weekend (6/8/18)
- New Zaxby's restaurant open in Cape (6/13/18)3
- New urban dance studio opens on Broadway (6/15/18)2
Studies show clownfish change size, sex when group is disrupted
Scientists could have written an R-rated, gender-bending plot twist to Disney's "Finding Nemo": Clownfish have a natural ability to change their sex.
Clownfish, the aquarium pet of choice since the release of the animated movie, live in such a rigid social structure in the wild that if one of the dominant breeding adults is removed, the size, status and even sex of the other clownfish change rapidly to return the group to the status quo.
"If the female of the group dies, the male changes sex and becomes the breeding female," said Cornell University evolutionary biologist Peter Buston, "while the largest nonbreeder becomes the breeding male."
Some other species of fish are known to do the same thing.
The study of the exotic reef dwellers, named for their outrageous colors, appears in today's issue of the journal Nature.
Buston observed 97 groups of clownfish living on reefs in Papua New Guinea.
Buston did not address how the fish change sex.