Ancient Fish Food

Lunchtime in the Ancient Fishes exhibit comes with equal parts "Awesome!" and "Ewww." You see, the elephantnose fish are fed blackworms through a feeding tube that delivers the writhing bolus to the gravelly bottom of the tank. That's where the elephantnose fish root around with their trunklike protrusions, which happens to be on their lower jaw and not their nose.

Aquarist Jeremy Brodt planted a GoPro camera at the bottom of the tank so you could have an up-close look at this awesomely chaotic feeding frenzy.

While there is evidence that the trunk-like proboscis may have electroreceptors, elephantnose fish primarily use this sensory organ to probe the substrate for food.

Elephantnose fish probe the gravel for leftovers

This species has a brain to body size ratio similar to that of humans! Much scientific research has been dedicated to study how elephantfish use weak electric fields to sense their surroundings and possibly to communicate. Perhaps their cerebellum is so enlarged to help them interpret bio-electrical signals.

Feeding time in this exhibit is always exciting, the elephantnose fish are just one of many fascinating creatures to observe. Visit the Aquarium and be sure to spend some time getting to know these well-evolved ancient fishes.

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