We don’t take care of enough ugly fish!

A study published in the journal Plus Just showed a somewhat unexpected association between the aesthetics of the fish that live in Coral reefsand risk of extinction: fish that are considered beautiful will be the least vulnerable, while those considered ugly appear more in the species list in Danger of extinction. The result in the end is not surprising, because our relationship with biodiversity depends a lot on the aesthetics we give, on our perception.

The authors conclude this as follows: There There is likely to be a significant mismatch between potential public support for conservation and the species that need it most.” To obtain these results, the team, led by researchers from the University of Montpellier, first asked the opinion of 13,000 people to assess the aesthetic appearance of 481 species of fish that inhabit the reef. Then they combined these results into an algorithm for deep learning, Or machine learning, which then produced predictions of the aesthetic value of 4400 Pictures Additional, including 2,417 different species.

Phylogenetic tree of the 2,417 fish that scientists targeted. Aesthetic values ​​throughout the entire evolution history are mapped using a color gradient. As an illustration, the researchers highlighted 20 families with contrasting aesthetic values ​​using gray brackets and presented examples of fish for each family. © Langlois & Moquet Al, Plus

It’s the colorful fish that wins change

The results are here: Most colorful fish، Red List of Threatened Species From the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)IUCN).

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The researchers also evaluated Connecting the aesthetic value of fish with evolutionary history. Then explain it The prettiest fish are tightly packed into small portions of the phylogenetic tree and ecological space. On the other hand, the least attractive fish are the most ecologically distinct, evolved and endangered species. »

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