Fish create their own mosquito nets to get good night’s sleep: Study

November 17th, 2010 - 5:38 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Nov 17 (ANI): A new study by Australian researchers has revealed that fish have developed their own mosquito nets in a bid to get good night’s sleep.

Scientists from the University of Queensland have conducted ground breaking experimental studies on the mucous-like cocoons.

According to Researcher Alexandra Grutter, while most fish guide books and biology textbooks presumed the cocoons protected fish from nocturnal predators such as moray eels, no experimental studies had examined their function.

The study has found the cocoons protect fish from the parasites, ectoparasitic gnathiids, which bite like mosquitoes.

Grutter said when cleaner fish sleep at night, mucous cocoons act like mosquito nets, allowing fish to sleep safely without being constantly bitten.

“In our study, we exposed coral reef parrotfish with and without cocoons to ectoparasitic gnathiids overnight. “Fish without mucous cocoons were attacked more by gnathiids than the fish with cocoons,” quoted him as saying in a statement.

“Fish that spent their time building the cocoons before tucking in to bed at night were protected, much like humans putting on a mosquito net,” Grutter added.

The research is published in Biology Letters. (ANI)

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