Don’t eat the puffer
Jack Haynes on Flickr
A puffer fish made this for his nice lady friend. A diver in Japan filmed this never before seen hatchery/nest. It measures about 6.5 feet across and consists of a circle with geometric spokes in the shape of ridges, sort of like the spokes on a wheel.
Underwater cameras showed that the artist was a small puffer fish who, using only his flapping fin, tirelessly worked day and night to carve the circular ridges. The unlikely artist – best known in Japan as a delicacy, albeit a potentially poisonous one – even takes small shells, cracks them, and lines the inner grooves of his sculpture as if decorating his piece. Further observation revealed that this “mysterious circle” was not just there to make the ocean floor look pretty. Attracted by the grooves and ridges, female puffer fish would find their way along the dark seabed to the male puffer fish where they would mate and lay eggs in the center of the circle. In fact, the scientists observed that the more ridges the circle contained, the more likely it was that the female would mate with the male. The little sea shells weren’t just in vain either. The observers believe that they serve as vital nutrients to the eggs as they hatch, and to the newborns.
More pictures and full story at Spoon & Tamago.
What an effort! Well done my lad.
A map puffer fish’s (arothron mappa) eye. (Photograph by Tim Laman; via National Geographic)
Porcupine Pufferfish by Jurgen Koch
Blue spotted Puffer fish by my friend Rory Ferguson