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Discovery Magazine 4/1/2011

Fish that Fight to the Death

In  this corner, from southeast Asia, measuring 2½ inches in length…Betta, the Siamese Fighting Fish!” These amazing creatures are becoming quite popular as an alternative to goldfish as pets for the home aquarium. But in some countries, this species of fish is used in fish fighting for money. Although the female Betta is quite peaceful, it is unwise to put two male Fighting Fish in the same fish tank without some kind of barrier between them. They are territorial and will fight fish that look similar (like the dwarf gourami and paradise fish) to the death. When this fish gets angry and wants to show it, he glows metallic green and red, and flares. Flaring is the term used to describe how Bettas spread their gill covers and fins in a show of aggression. During the fight, the fish will ram each other, slit each other’s skin with their teeth, and rub scales off of each other.

As you might expect from such aggressive little fish, they are carnivorous. They eat meat, such as bloodworms. Also, God gave these amazing fish a special “lung,” that allows them to survive in water that contains very little oxygen (like stagnant ponds and slow-moving streams), since they can come to the surface from time to time to breathe in more oxygen. [This means that they can survive if you forget to clean the fish tank for a while!] Many fish need fresh water to survive. However, God knew that there needed to be fish in areas where the water is not always fresh and is sometimes polluted. God designed these fish to be able to fill that niche.

Isn’t it amazing that God made such neat creatures for us to look at and study? Isn’t it amazing that God made them to fit in perfectly with His creation? And isn’t it great that God left evidence of His existence all over the world through the things that He made?

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