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Every fish is a critic

Pufferfish sand drawing

Fun Facts for Kids

Plain male white-spotted pufferfishes are artists at heart. They make amazing patterns on the seafloor to attract females. These Japanese females may not notice her male counterpart because of his camouflage. The sand paintings are attractive and memorable and they do the job.

White-spotted pufferfish females are known to prefer laying eggs in softer nests, so the male fish attracts mates by removing coarse sand. To start, a male makes a circle with its fins. Then, for about seven to 10 days, it makes radiating spokes leading to the centre. Thus, water currents funnel finer, soft sand into the circle.

Unfortunately, flounders also notice the paintings, and know that they are nests for delicious eggs. (They think that the sand drawings are designed to point out their lunch). So, they erase the sand painting by plowing into them. Then they take the eggs.

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