Mysterious underwater patterns created a romantic fish

When Japanese scientists discovered mysterious circular patterns on the ocean floor near the Amami Islands in 1995, they were wondering for a long time: who or what is the author of these unusual works of art? Mysterious drawings arose and disappeared in different places, but never the researchers could not find an unknown “artist” behind his work. It was not possible until 2011, when for 12 months a team of underwater scientists monitored the bottom section, where intricate patterns often appeared. A talented artist turned out to be a fish of the spiny arthron type. But why did she need such works of art?

Spiny anthroon (Arothron hispidus) is a luminous fish of the family of puffers inhabiting the Red Sea, Indian and Pacific oceans. These fish lead a solitary lifestyle and prefer the sandy marine soil in the lagoons and on the outer reefs at a depth of 1 to 50 meters. The thing is that for the survival of caviar these fish need sand of almost perfect consistency. That is why the male builds a special “nest” of sand in such a way that the flow strength is reduced by 25%, and everything is set in such a way that the grains of sand that are best suited for laying are brought to the center of the nest by water. A kind of engineering triumph of a tiny fish. We suggest that you see these amazing images with your own eyes, because the Japanese researchers spent so much time and effort on their filming.

The construction of the architectural work of the males of the Prickly Argotron takes about a week. They carefully clean the territory of various garbage, verify the diameter of the nest and the direction of the grooves they are digging. Everything should be perfect. The final touch is a fish version of “flowers and sweets” to attract a female. To do this, the male spreads beautiful shells around the edges of the nest and waits for the female to swim by and notice them, swim to the center of the nest and let him know that he is ready to spawn. The act of love in fish looks quite unusual: the male bites the female for the “cheek”, and in this position they dance for a few seconds. After the eggs are laid and fertilized, the female leaves the nest for good. Now nature will make everything else for fish. A lone male will erect his next architectural masterpiece on a new stretch of the bottom.

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