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Archive for the ‘Why evolution kicks ass!’ Category

There’s a species of small fish from the Amazon called the Splashing Tetra fish, Copella arnoldi, which have an amazing spawning ritual. The males periodically jump from the water up into low hanging foliage to find the right leaves under which they can land on and stick to. They then guard them until a suitable female mate comes along with which to reproduce. They line up at the water surface and propel themselves in perfect synchrony out of the water, into the air, and stick onto the back of the leaf side by side. There they lay several eggs at a time before falling back into the water and repeating the process until they’ve laid and fertilised around 60 or so eggs.

And that’s not all folks… At this point you’re probably having a slight evo-gasm or adapta-spasm like I am, but it gets better. The males apparently stick around for the following few days whilst the eggs develop and periodically splash the leaf, and eggs, with fresh water so they stay moist and oxygenated. After about two days the small fry (yep, that’s where it comes from, baby fish are called ‘fry’) fall to the water that dad has splashed up to them.

Mind blow…!

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I thought I’d start yet another, surely intermittent, segment called Why evolution kicks ass! where I’ll post pictures, articles, videos, etc on all things awesomely evolutionary!

I’m going to start with an image of this awesome gecko and its ability to camouflage itself. Amazing! This species is Uroplatus pietschmanni (Cork Bark Leaf Tail Gecko).

Camouflage, such as this, is evolved in organisms to help them avoid detection by predators so they won’t become a meal. Those who do the best job at camouflaging themselves are obviously going to pass their good camouflaging genes on to their offspring, and those who do a bad job will be more likely not to pass their genes on and instead become something’s lunch. Another beautiful example of Charles Darwin’s process of Natural Selection.

For another really cool example of the evolution of camouflage see the Peppered moth.

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