Tuesday, 22 July 2008


Sailfin Snapper - Symphoricthys spilurus Siargao Island PhilippinesKatambak (the local name for sea bream) are various different kinds of Snappers.

This one (Sailfin Snapper - Symphoricthys spilurus) is not typical at all.

It has those long 'tails' from its dorsal fin and its anal fin.

Otherwise, it's quite tasty.

The fish already has a very nice camouflage pattern along its sides, like a not-very-good artist trying to paint waves, but it's got those long, functionally useless streamers from its fins.

When I look at an animal like this, I wonder why it did it. Why grow long tails from its fins? Sexual advertisement, or what ?

Perhaps it's a very good example of 'costly signalling', ie, that it can afford an extra bit of showing-off to attract a mate (think peacocks' tails).

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