Thursday, March 13, 2008

Elephant nose fish finds food with electricity

That strange wand on the elephant nose fish (right) is an electric food detector. This bizarre fish finds food the way people with metal detectors find coins on a beach. Looks kind of similar too, check the photos.

The elephant nose fish generates an electric field and then waves a detector that "feels" for something that disturbs the field. Food for the fish, or gold doubloons for the people.

The so-called "nose" is really a modified chin, and since the elephant nose fish can also use it to avoid obstacles, it has the unusual distinction of being able to "see" with it's chin.

And, you can even have one in your aquarium, and watch it get active at night, feeling around for food with electricity.

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