Cranberry Lake Biological Station

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student research, biology, Adirondacks


When minnows are attacked, their epithelial cells release a chemical alarm that will alert other minnows to the presence of a predator. Our study was to see if Creek Chub (Semotilus atromaculatus) would habituate to the signal if repeatedly exposed in the absence of a predator and thus ignore it. We tested 20 Creek Chub, half getting the treatment of chemical alarm and the other half a control of water. Each fish was individually exposed to their treatment five times. It was found that there was no change in reaction of the experimental group and Creek Chub had a relatively equal reaction for every trial. As a result, we could not reject our null hypothesis that there would be no change in reaction of fish over the five trials. This shows the reaction to chemical stimulus is an innate behavior that boosts the chances of survival for the minnow.


Second Place Shields Award Recpient



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