Contributed by Jennifer Best
A new study demonstrates the individualized behaviors and coping styles of fish called Trindadian guppies. The study tracked individual guppy responses to an unfamiliar environment and observed how individual guppies reacted – many tried to hide, others attempted to escape, some explored cautiously, and so on. What is fascinating is that while the behavior of all the guppies changed depending on the situation—for example, all becoming more cautious in more stressful situations—the relative differences between individuals remained intact.
Research like this emphasizes that every individual guppy is distinct. We should value members of all species. In the case of a tiny fish such as the Trinidadian guppy, humans should be mindful that changing their environment impacts their behavior and that each fish has their own individualized responses and coping mechanisms