Wallpaper Monday

It has suddenly come to my attention, now that an 11-inch MacBook Air lives in our house, that grand scenic wallpapers don’t do very well on small screens. So I’ll be mixing it up with photos on a different scale, such as this one.


Taken by famed underwater photographer David Doubilet and featured in a January 2010 article in National Geographic, this image shows a male tomato clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus) tending his eggs. The eggs must be kept oxygenated, so the clownfish will hover over them, fanning them with his fins to create a current. If he sees any with dead embryos, he’ll pluck them out before they can begin to decay or mold, thus preserving the living eggs.

Click on the image to biggify, and then imagine this fish carefully plucking a single dead egg out of that mass. Now that is precision.


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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4 Responses to Wallpaper Monday

  1. JJ says:

    I adore the national geographic photos. Really Fab!

  2. Ana_ñ says:

    Wow, yes, precision and finesse. I am not able to imagine that. This excellent picture makes me want to see the next moment, that comparatively huge mouth pulling a single egg. I wonder if he uses suction.

    • oregon expat says:

      I raised a brood of angelfish, which care for their eggs/fry in the same manner, and was able to watch this behavior. The parent does indeed use suction, and can’t always suck up just the one bad egg. But they are absolutely amazing at being able to work the inhaled eggs around in their mouth, spit out the bad one in one direction, and then gently blow the rest back into the nest, where they adhere once again.

      • Ana_ñ says:

        What incredible skill!
        I have seen angelfishes spitting, but they weren’t breeding. I think that they were sick; instead of eggs, they spitted out food.

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