STARCHILD was pleasantly surprised to receive a letter from Wong Chin Hooi, a 60-year-old reader, who submitted some fascinating facts about freshwater aquarium fish.
> The four-eyed fish from South America has its iris divided into two parts and shaped like the figure eight. These fish can see below and above the water at the same time.
> The blind cave fish from Mexico lives in streams located in caves. Though blind, the fish can detect food by scent and swims freely without knocking into objects.
> When the archerfish sights land-based insects above the water surface, it spits out jets of water through its mouth to knock down its prey.
> The pufferfish has an ability to inflate itself with air or water like a balloon when threatened, frightened or caught out of water.
> The hatchetfish has an enlarged chest consisting of muscles and wing-like pectoral fins which enable it to “fly” for short distances when threatened by predators.
> The butterfly fish, found in streams in West Africa, can leap out of water and glide using its butterfly-like pectoral fins to escape predators.
> When its habitat dries up, the climbing perch breathes surface air, and “walks” across dampland for several hours using its pectoral fins and extended gill covers as props, as its tail moves itself forward. It is also capable of climbing along fallen tree trunks.
> The glass catfish’s long flattened body is almost as transparent as glass. This peculiar fish has all its organs positioned into a silvery sac.
> Beware of the electric eel from the Amazon river in South America. Its organs can send out powerful electric shocks, often fatal to humans and animals.
Chan Kai er, 12