Focus Question: How does natural selection lead to adaptation in populations?
Environment: Marine Organism: Garibaldi Adaptations: Color Adaptation type: Physical
Natural selection leads to evolutionary change when individuals with certain characteristics have a greater survival or reproductive rate than other individuals in a population and pass on these inheritable genetic characteristics to their offspring .
Fish display a wide variety of colors and color patterns. Skin coloration can have many functions. Many fish have color patterns that help them blend in with their environment. This may allow the fish to avoid being seen by a predator .
Divergent survival reaction norms indicate that warm-water populations are more sensitive to changes in food, whereas cold-water populations are more sensitive to changes in temperature .
The Garibaldi uses its bright orange color to ward off potential predators . Rather than camouflage, their coloration acts to draw attention to themselves and they stand out like a traffic cone on a busy street .
The males continuously grooms, cleans, and carries away small animals, unwanted species of algae, and any detritus that might contaminate or interfere with the growth of the desired red algae species . The male aggressively protects the nest, often driving away intruders many times .
They occur as far north as Monterey Bay but are especially common in the warmer waters of Southern California and the Channel Islands. Garibaldi typically inhabit rocky reefs and kelp beds on exposed coastal shores and semi-exposed shallow bays, frequently close to the shoreline .