Cichlid fishes are amazing creatures. In terms of sheer number of species, they are the most successful of all families of vertebrate animals, and the extent and speed with which they have evolved in some African lakes has made them the darlings of evolutionary biologists. With warmth and wit, Barlow describes the remarkably high intelligence of these fishes, their complex mating and parenting rituals, their bizarre feeding and fighting habits, and their highly unusual adaptations. A celebration of their diversity, The Cichlid Fishes is also a marvelous exploration of how these animals might help resolve the age-old puzzle of how species arise and evolve.read more
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With more than 1,000 species and countless more subspecies native to the freshwaters of Africa, Asia and South America, the family of Cichlid fish are perhaps evolution's greatest success story. Diverse in color, size and behavior, these fish are of equal interest to fishermen, ethologists and home aquarium enthusiasts. Barlow, Professor Emeritus of Integrative Biology at the University of California at Berkeley, presents a multifaceted study of these unusual creatures. Like some higher mammals and birds, many Cichlid species are monogamous. In some species the size, color and health of the male attract the female; in others, the nesting site's design lures mates. Often, males as well as females participate in nurturing and raising the young, using their mouths as havens for incubating eggs and to protect their fry from predators. Cichlids provide a seemingly unending source of information for ichthyologists, behaviorists and geneticists in their quest to understand speciation and animal intelligence. They are also valuable to aquaculturists, who can breed certain species as a protein source for human consumption. In this diligent and enthusiastic book, Barlow opens an underwater realm that will fascinate scientists and lay readers alike. Illus. (Dec. 18) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved