Sheepshead fish are a common North American marine species that span from Cape Cod and Massachusetts through to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Preferring coastal habitats around rock pilings, jetties, mangroves, reefs and piers, they can grow up to around 91 cm in length and weigh up to 9.6 kg. They have five to seven distinctive black, vertical bars running down their silvery bodies, which is why the sheepshead is also called the convict fish. And true to their name, sheepshead fish are notorious for stealing bait and somehow being in cahoots with the Joker.
Soares and her colleagues used high-speed cameras to film a group of nine male guppies from the island of Trinidad. Their research, published online April 16 in the journal PLOS ONE, suggests wild guppies use their curious jumping ability as a way to spread the species away from an original habitat, to a new place with fewer predators. In other words, jumping likely serves a crucial evolutionary function for guppies.