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Boldness Predicts Social Status in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

By S. Josefin Dahlbom, David Lagman, Katrin Lundstedt-Enkel, L. Fredrik Sundström and Svante Winberg


This study explored if boldness could be used to predict social status. First, boldness was assessed by monitoring individual zebrafish behaviour in (1) an unfamiliar barren environment with no shelter (open field), (2) the same environment when a roof was introduced as a shelter, and (3) when the roof was removed and an unfamiliar object (Lego® brick) was introduced. Next, after a resting period of minimum one week, social status of the fish was determined in a dyadic contest and dominant/subordinate individuals were determined as the winner/loser of two consecutive contests. Multivariate data analyses showed that males were bolder than females and that the behaviours expressed by the fish during the boldness tests could be used to predict which fish would later become dominant and subordinate in the ensuing dyadic contest. We conclude that bold behaviour is positively correlated to dominance in zebrafish and that boldness is not solely a consequence of social dominance

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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