Saturday, May 28, 2011


When its lake becomes scarce, a bowfin can tunnel into the mud at the base and go into a profound summer rest until the drizzles benefit. This activity is known as aestivation.

The bowfin is a sturdy, barrel-shaped fish that can survive conditions that few alternate fish can. It can even live out of water for a full day, so long as its skin does not dry out. The bowfin can do this because its swim bladder, as well as controlling buoyancy, can also function as a lung. It has even been reported that farmers digging land that has been flooded have actually plowed up bowfins. The fish have tunneled into the mud in readiness for their June through August timeframe rest (aestivation).

Protected Young
BowfinApart from the top rays of the caudal (tail) fin which has a faded black spot surrounded by a yellow to orange halo (known as an eyespot or ocellus), adult bowfins are rather drab-colored fish. In the young, though, the eyespot is brilliantly colored and stands out beautifully against the duller body color.

BowfinThis specialty is accepted to give youthful bowfins some insurance from predators that could strike the “false eye” as a substitute for the true blue one, which is not shiningly colored. An attack on the eyespot, while causing injury, is far less serious than losing a real eye. In time, the damaged fin will regrow, but an eye is lost forever.


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