FIELD TRIPS: Malawi's Cichlids

Science  01 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5497, pp. 1647b
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5497.1647b

When naturalists first dipped into Africa's deep rift lakes in the mid-1800s, they were amazed to find scores of fish species that were closely related yet varied wildly in size, color, and eating habits. Find out more about these wonders of evolution at the Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa. Curator Michael Oliver, a Yale-trained cichlid biologist, has stocked the site with taxonomic lists of Lake Malawi's roughly 335 cichlid species, along with hundreds of photos and descriptions of such intriguing adaptations as a species that pretends it's dead, then eats the small fish that swim by to pay their respects. You'll also find info on those early taxonomists, maps of the lake, and links to cichlid researchers and related sites. Although most visitors are aquarium hobbyists who collect cichlids, says Oliver, many scientists also use the site, particularly for the up-to-date bibliography.∼mko

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