These 4 Eyed Fish Don't Need Glasses To See Their Babies At Living Coast Aquarium
By Philip Knowling
Torquay, UK - Fish that are among the strangest in the world have given birth at Living Coasts Aquarium in Torquay.
The four-eyed fish at Torquay’s coastal zoo is a species rarely seen in UK aquariums. While most fish lay eggs, the four eyed fish gives birth to live young.
Living Coasts is home to eleven four-eyed fish – six females and five males. One female gave birth to four youngsters on Wednesday 8th April and a second had three youngsters on Easter Sunday 12th April. The youngsters are about 6 centimetres long. The adults are now approximately 17centimetres long.
Living Coasts marine biologist Jodie Peers: “I had a feeling they might be pregnant – I had observed matings, but it is such a difficult business that I hardly dared to believe it. They can be very tricky to keep – you have to get the water quality, diet, light levels and temperature all just right and keep stress to a minimum. I’m delighted!”
Living Coasts Director Elaine Hayes said: “The four-eyed fish came to Living Coasts in June 2008. For them to be breeding within a year of their arrival is remarkable – it is testament to the hard work and understanding of Jodie and her colleagues.”
Four-eyed fish (Anableps anableps) mate side-by-side, but individuals can mate only to one side or the other, which means that a “right-handed” male can only mate with a “left-handed" female and vice versa. Imagine finding the girl of your dreams – only to discover that you are both lefties and so destined never to mate…
Four-eyed fish live on river estuaries and mangrove coastlines in southern Mexico and South America. They have two eyes – not four - adapted to see both above and below the water. They can also survive out of water for short periods, such as during low tide. Four eyed fish are rarely seen in the UK as most aquariums focus mainly on coral reef species rather than mangrove species.
Living Coasts, Torquay’s coastal zoo, is a registered charity. For more information go to www.livingcoasts.org.uk or ring (01803) 202470.
Living Coasts is a member of the British & Irish Association of Zoos & Aquariums (BIAZA). BIAZA represents its member collections and promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums. For further information please telephone 020 7449 6351.
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is a registered charity. Registered office: Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, Totnes Road, Paignton, Devon TQ4 7EU. Registration number 792877. Registered charity number 300923. Place of incorporation: Companies House, Cardiff.
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