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Cichlid Fish - Adaptive Radiation

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Meg L. Neet

on 16 May 2013

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Transcript of Cichlid Fish - Adaptive Radiation

African Cichlids Adaptive Radiation Subspecies of Africa Miscellaneous A New Niche
of African Cichlids Works Sited Additional Pictures Egyptian Mouthbrooder (Pseudocrenilabrus multicolour) Jewel Cichlid
(Hemichromis bimaculatus) Lionhead Cichlid.
(Steatocranus casuarius) Striped kribensis
(Pelvicachromis taeniatus) Basic Info & Definition
Evolutionary Forces
(that caused adaptation and shaped African Cichlids) Feature Describing
Adaptation Adaptation
Evolution Cichlid fish are secondary water fish, that once were marine fish. The exact amount of cichlid species is unknown, but it is estimated between 2000 and 5000 species. They live in three lakes in Africa: Lake Victoria,Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Malawi.

Adaptive Radiation: periods of time in which evolution occurs quickly within a certain species, leading new species to form and adapt to its role in its environment

African Cichlids exemplify adaptive radiation because overtime, many different types of African Cichlids started to appear (as well as in other places) in different parts of Africa. This is due to several alternative concepts of species, such as morphological, allopatric, and phylogenetic concepts.

One example is the lionhead cichlid's jumping/
skipping method of traveling as well as its smaller swim bladder. These two factors are are a result of the lionhead's environment. Because it lives in fast moving waters, jumping across the bottom of the lake/creek is a more efficient and energy-saving tactic. The small swim bladder also helps keep the fish stay on the floor since the size gives it less buoyancy. Due to its environment, the fish evolved to adapt and survive. The Striped Kripensis originates in West Africa,
particularly in southern Nigeria and Cameroon. Because of its color variability, they can also be referred to as "Nigerian Reds" or "Nigeria Green."

During the mating season, the males are especially colorful, appearing in metallic red, green, violet, and gold. The females, although not quite as vibrant as the males, are still very colorful. The males are also a bit larger, averaging at about 9 cm. while the females are around 6 cm. The Egyptian Mouthbrooder lives in the north-east part of Africa and is widespread in this area.

An alternate name for this cichlid is the "Dwarf Victoria Mouthbrooder," which means “many colors”.

Males are larger and more vibrant in color compared to the females. However, the females become very aggressive after spawning and can potentially kill a male if he's too close. One of the three lakes separates, forming a new lake. The new lake is deeper,darker, and has jagged rocks throughout it. The cichlids in that new lake adapt to be darker, as to blend in with the darker water. The cichlids' body structure changes to be flatter and more flexible in order maneuver the rocky environment. The new cichlids also have a narrower mouth in order to get into the small crevices of the rock and capture their prey. This new group of cichlids is geographically separated from the other cichlids, making it a new species inhabiting an open niche.











http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fresh/cichlid/cichlids.htm By
Lindsay F.
& Meg L. N. Jewel cichlids have a bad and undeserved reputation for aggressive behavior. While they are relatively tame, they can become overly aggressive with if they don't like the mate they're given. Otherwise they're relatively tame fish who make lifelong partners.

They are native to West and Central Africa and can often be found near the surface of rivers and streams. They can grow between 4 to 6 inches.
The average lifespan is about 5 years. They also tend to swim with their fins tucked inclose to their bodies. Lionhead cichlids can be found jumping over the bottom of the Congo River system in Africa. Due to the rapid waters, jumping instead of swimming allows them to use less energy fighting the current. Its reduced swim bladder which makes it less buoyant than most fish also makes swimming harder and less graceful.

When they're attracting mates, males grow bigger and have a darker coloration than females. They also grow a large lump on their foreheads. Like the Jeweled cichlids, lionhead mates are paired for life. Males are also a little more aggressive than the females. They usually live for about 5 to 8 years. Environment:
Large body of water = more speciation
the largest lakes [in Africa], Tanganyika, Malawi, and Victoria, have a particularly high rate of subspecies of cichlid fishes, with roughly 250–800 species in each lakeIsolation - variety of cichlid subspecies grows due to the opportunity for isolation by distances from the large bodies of water
Rapid water = skip/jump across bottom of water mass & sm. swim bladder
more efficient way of transportation than swimming (lionhead)
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