Science & Tech
Marine biologists hope their model can help other scientists and conservationists better understand how predators select their prey.
A new model is providing insight into the impact of a venomous predatory fish that has invaded more than 7.3 million square kilometres in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, wreaking havoc among native fish populations.
Scientists have speculated that the invasive lionfish are so successful in the Atlantic because prey don’t recognize them as a predator, but that may not be the case, according to University of Alberta marine biologist Stephanie Green, who led a study on the lionfish.
“We found that reef fish enter the ‘danger zone’—close enough to be eaten—around invasive lionfish at similar rates to native predators. But for those prey that stray too close to lionfish, they are up to twice as likely to be captured than by predators that are naturally found on Caribbean reefs,” said Green.
The researchers suggest the li...