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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

W. Michael Kaill

Second Committee Member

Lee Christianson


This paper investigates a means of detecting the reaction of aquatic vertebrates to environmental change by recording behavioral patterns within the diurnal activity. An apparatus measuring the activity of Jordanella floridae, Goode and Bean, using a photoelectric sensor system is described. Individual sensors monitored specific areas of the test aquarium that had special significance to the fish in the way of a particular behavioral category. An event recorder documented the breakage of light beams, giving continuous and accurately timed data of activity. Two distinct patterns of activity were recognized; a control, or typical, pattern, and a pattern resulting from the administration of a large (10°C) change in environmental temperature. Modifications in the diurnal behavior were consistent with reactions that could be adaptive for the species under similar conditions in nature.



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