In my last blog I talked about schooling fish, their interesting behaviors and some schooling species for your marine aquarium. If you have a freshwater aquarium, the list of schooling fish species is pretty long. Dozens of tetras, barbs, danios, and rasboras are available and new species are being introduced regularly. There are also several other types of schooling fish that you may not see in the average pet store. These colorful and interesting fish can really contribute something special to a home aquarium. Read More »
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Almost every aquarist will feel the sting from a cnidarian (anemones, jellyfish, ect.) at some point or another. For some, it can just be a mild annoyance, but for others it can be downright painful or even dangerous. The correct treatment depends on what you were stung by and how sensitive you are to it.
Cnidaria is a large phylum (one of the broadest scientific classifications) and includes jellyfish, corals, anemones, and hydroids that aquarist might encounter in their tanks. Cnidarians have specialized stinging cells known as “nematocysts” or “cnidocysts”. These cells can be used as defense mechanisms or to catch prey. Some are harmless to people, but effective on the cnidarian’s targeted prey. Some can be lethal to anything they touch – the Sea Wasp, a type of box jellyfish, is touted as the most venomous marine animal ever and is usually fatal. Different types of nematocysts have different functions and one animal can have more than one type of nematocyst at a time, but all function essentially the same way. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. In Part 1 of this article I wrote about some of my experiences with Red-Bellied Piranhas in the wild, and examined some of the myths and realities surrounding their fearsome reputations.
Piranhas living near wading bird rookeries (colonial nesting areas) are often more aggressive than those dwelling in other habitats. It seems that young birds frequently fall from their nests to the water below (the nests are usually located in trees growing in water), and Piranhas (and Spectacled Caiman) have learned to cash in. Red-Bellied Piranhas living near rookeries are said to be particularly aggressive and will hit just anything that lands on the water’s surface. Read More »
It is back to school time for most of America’s children. Backpacks, bright yellow buses, and droves of children gathered on street corners to be carted off to fall classes. Our children gather in schools to learn. Meanwhile, around the globe, millions of fish gather in schools for other reasons. Not big brick building schools, but large, synchronized groups – a fascinating behavior known as “schooling.” Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. With the movie Piranha 3D in theaters, I though now might be a good time to write a bit about how wild Red-Bellied Piranhas (Pycocentrus nattereri) actually behave. Unfortunately, no matter how outlandish the movie may be, there are people who will retain what they see and regard it as fact. I still recall that, for months after the movie Anaconda premiered, I was deluged with calls from viewers spouting the strangest “facts” (I was working at the Bronx Zoo at the time…management had been approached by the movie’s production company, but had declined to become involved). Read More »