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Animal Lifestyle Roundup

August 22, 2008

The male molly fish uses a devious strategy to get the mate he wants.


Sex and deception in fish. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Male molly fish are not exactly coy. Once they find a female they like, they chase her constantly and try to mate. But scientists writing in Current Biology report that if a second male is introduced, the first male leaves his favored mate and starts chasing another, less desirable female. That gets the new male interested in her. With him out of the way, the first male sneaks back to the fish he really wants.

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers report on a type of chameleon in Madagascar that gives new meaning to the expression Live Fast; Die Young. The lizards hatch; grow to full maturity in two months; mate and lay eggs over another two months; and then the entire population drops dead. The eggs lie dormant for eight or nine months before the cycle repeats. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.