10 December 2009

A nasty fish

A fish in Lake Malawi in Africa called Nimbochromis livingstonii may offer a clue to this early stage of flatfish evolution. To catch its prey, it lies on one side on the lake bottom pretending to be dead. White blotches on its flank add to the illusion, because they look like fungi feeding on a dead fish. Unsuspecting fish swim by, whereupon Nimbochromis bursts from the lake bottom to engulf them.
-- Carl Zimmer, citing McKay K R 1981 in an article in Evolution Vol 1, No 4, Oct 2008

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