There is a huge sound, as the perfect large mouth bass jumps after a low flying bug. With one gulp the fly is gone and so is the bass. The large mouth bass is one of the best predators of the water. With no warning of attack it jumps out and kills its prey. The large mouth bass uses many of the fourteen behaviors. The one used most often however is ingestive. The bass uses all of its behaviors to go after its food. The fourteen behaviors are investigative, ingestive, shelter-seeking, agonistic, care giving, care soliciting, eliminative, allelomimetic, sexual, play, sleep, use of tools, thermoregulation and social. While the bass not use all of these it uses most of them.
The large mouth bass is very unique from the other members of the bass family. The large mouth bass is the most adaptable member of the bass family. It is found in every aquatic habitat from small streams the the largest resevoir, and almost everything in between. Up north the large mouth bass has a longer lifespan than in the south, at sixteen years old. While it may get older up north the size of the bass is larger in the south. This is so because there is more to eat.
The sexual characteristics of the bass remain the same nort and south. The large mouth bass spawn in the spring, when water temperatures begin to move past sixty degrees fahrenheit. The spring spawning urge in a bass is set off by both water temperature and photoperiod. Photoperiod is the proportion of the day in which the bass are exposed to sunlight. As the day light hours grow longer through the spring and early summer, so does the photoperiod. This process affects the temperature of different bodies of water in different ways. Small shallow ponds heat up much earlier in the year. As a result the bass will begin to spawn much earlier than the bass in large lakes. They will also finish earlier. The spawning of bass usually vary from two to four months. The male is the first to move into the spawning grounds, making the relocation well before the water temperatures has reached the spawning levels. The male bass will work on the nest, then the female will join the male later. When water temperature rises to within the spawning range, the female lays his eggs over the nest, with the male spreading his fertile milt over them. The milt is like glue and will attach to the eggs to fertilizes it. From two thousand to seven thousand eggs are laid by the female. However, she lays only a few hundred of them at any one time, and her total batch may be divided over severall nests. The sexual behavior of the bass is like many other fish and it probably will be for a long time.
The care giving abilities of the parent are not usuall. The female bass will stay close to the nest for a couple days after laying her eggs. But the male will stay on until the eggs hatch, guarding them from the predators that lurk nearby. These predators include turtles, salamanders, frogs, crayfish, panfish and some species of minnows. The male bass also maintains the fanning action over the nest withhis tail to prevent a build up of oxygen choking silt.If something happens to the bass and he is removed from the nest, all of the eggs will die. For the fisherman, catching the bass during this time is easy, because the bass removes anything near the nest. If all goes well, the eggs hatch in two to ten days. Higher temperatures speed up the process while, lower temperatures slow it down.The young fry begin to feed on microscopic creatures in the water almost as soon as they leave the eggs. The male stands guard over his brood for several more days, until they begin to leave on theri own. At this point the male begins to gradually lose his protective instinct and return to his predator ways. The last few around may become his first meal. During there first few years, the little bass tend to stay together. They live in a school to protect themselves from predators. They do this until they get bigger and can live on there own.
While there is some care giving when the young are in egg form, there is no care soliciting. As soon as the eggs are hatched and are a couple of days old, the young are out on there own. There is no help from the parents. Everything is instinctive to them. So there is no care-soliciting.
The bass, while predators, do have predators of there own. There predators involve racoons, feline and of course humans. The unique thing about bass, is that they like to stay in waters no deeper than twenty feet deep. This is not due to predators, simply because there is more food closer towards land. Anyway, when a bass is hiding, it usually stays in an area where there are lily pads, where a tree has fallen, or where a bunch of sticks are. This gives the fish cover from it’s predators. Another reason why it chooses this enviroment, is because it is easier to sneak up on its prey. If the bass is hidden, its prey will not see it until it is too late. The mirky waters, the lily pads and the area of sticks are all prime areas for bass to be found.
There are many points in which bass use investigative behavior. Bass use investigative behavior when looking for a place to lay its eggs. When laying its eggs the female makes sure the nest is in the right spot, and is suitable for its eggs. Also, it makes sure the male builds the nest right. Bass also use investigative behavior when hunting. When the bass hunt they investigate there surroundings, so they can find suitable hunting ground. After they do this, the investigate the water for certain smells to detect the prey that it is going to eat. The final thing the bass use investigative behavior is for shelter seeking. It investigates to make sure that its surroundings are appropriate and safe.
The large mouth bass show agonistic behavior once a year. The only time of year that bass show agonistic behavior is during the spawning season. during the spawning season the males make nests with territories. Each male has it’s own territory and if it is invaded they fight. Most of the time the male defending the nests wins, because the other male thinks it isn’t worth it. The rest of the year the bass do not have set territories, so they do not have to show agonistic behavior. Another reason why, is because there is no dominant so there is no fighting for position.
Like all animals, bass have eliminative behavior. If they did not they would explode, because the waste would not be able to go anywhere. There excretion comes from the under rearside of the body. Fish usually excrete shortly after eating, because they digest very quickly.
At even an early age bass do not show play. While many other animals learn by play, bass do not. At an early age the parents leave them and they are left with others. The other bass do not play with each other, due to the constant threat of other animals. In the bass world there is no time for play.
There are two times that bass show allelomimeticism. They show it at a very young age, and at an older age. When the bass are just born and they are all together, one action will make all the others move, and in the same direction. The reason why the young stay together is to protect themselves, and with allelomimeticism if one sees something they all move. This makes it harder for the predator to catch them. The second time when there is allelomimeticism is when they are in schools. It is rare for bass to be in schools, but when they are they show allelomimeticism. They all move the same direction with one another. One action produces all the others to have an action and in the same way.
Like all fish, bass do not sleep. If they did they would open themselves up to other predators when they sleep. Instead they rest for short periods of time by just swimming in place.
Bass do not have hands, so they do not use tools. They cant physically grab an object and use it as a tool. Also, because they have no need for tools, because there prey swims all around them.
People may not know this but bass do thermoregulate. It is not like an iguana, laying on a hot rock, but instead like a fish. The bass uses the water to thermoregulate. Being a fish it lives in the water, and if it goes into the sun it will dry out and die. The fish stays in the water with the sun, waiting for the water to warm up so it can get warm.
The fish uses it’s enviroment to get warm not just the sun.
With acception of the spawning season the bass show no social behavior. During the spawning season the male and the female interact so that they can reproduce. that is the only time social behavior is seen in fish.
The biggest behavior the large mouth bass shows is ingestive. This is the biggest behavior, because the bass eats just about anything. A bass will eat anything from a worm to a piece of gum. To prove this, a boy from Ohio was fishing with a piece of marshmellow and he caught an eight pound bass. However, the thing that bass are known most for eating are minnows. Minnows are the most common food for the bass, simply because it is in it’s enviroment. The bass don’t only eat minnows. As fisherman would know bass go after anything that looks like a fish. A little rubber worm when fished right looks like a snake, and this would drive a bass crazy. Not only real food will attract bass. Another thing that bass will go after, are shinning things. A piece of metal on the end of a fishing line, looks like a minnows belly and the bass will eat it. While, it does go after a lot of fake things it prefers live things. The three most common foods for bass are, worms, minnows and frogs. This is so, because the bass can find each of these creatures in there enviroment. Also, because they are easy to hunt and taste good.
I learned a lot from doing this project. While I knew a lot about what the bass ingest, I didn’t know hardly anything about the reproduction of the bass. Doing this project not only made me more knowledgefull about fish, but also made me a better fisherman. It made me a better fisherman, because I did not know how protective males were of nests, and now when I spot a nest I can catch a fish easier.