Posted by: danlwarren | August 8, 2010

The Angryometer

Part of the point of this blog is to document the process of doing science.  When it comes to doing field science, that often means trying to figure out some clever hack that will allow you to trick an animal into telling you about itself.  One of the things we really want to be able to find out about bluehead wrasses in the study we’re currently working on is the level of territoriality different individuals display.  Here’s one attempt we made at collecting this data.  It involves a device we’re calling the Angryometer.

Did it work?  Well, sorta.  We did get a terminal phase bluehead interested in it, and after a few trial passes he finally went mano a mano (or perhaps fin-o a fin-o) with the mirror until we took it away.  It’s exactly the sort of data we wanted from the apparatus, but we’re probably not going to be able to use it anyway; it takes too long to get the fish to make the initial approach, so we probably wouldn’t be able to get enough individuals responding to get the sample size we need.  It was still pretty fun to see how the different species responded to the mirror, though, and perhaps we’ll play some more with this later.

I’ll try to remember to post some of the video once we get back to the States.  The internet access here is a bit sketchy, so anything that large is difficult to upload.

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