Grab a cookie quickly when your parents are not looking, many people probably recognize it from the past or from their own children. Even in the animal kingdom, sneaky things happen when people aren’t careful.
For example, chimps often steal a competitor’s food when they are not looking. Now, new research shows that the common cleaning wrasse – you know: those fish that keep the skin of larger sea creatures clean – may also benefit.
It turns out that the female Napoleon wrasse eats forbidden food more often when the male is not looking. In this case, it is the mucus of the host or the female. It is absolutely not allowed as a snack. This is an unwritten agreement between cleaning wrasses and their host. You don’t. Females – more often than males – can’t help but eat it and they get a lot of kicks from their partner for it. But don’t pay attention to this partner, then they take him.
Unfortunately for the females, even though the incident happened out of the sight of the males, they were still punished for their act. They were even more often punished if they deliberately ate out of the male’s sight. Leaving aside this unhealthy relationship between male and female common cleaning wrasse, it demonstrates complex behaviors that we didn’t know these small species of fish were capable of.
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