Which Fish Keeps its Eggs in its Mouth?

            Eggs in the mouth? Sounds quite strange! But there is a fish known as the catfish, which is found in the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of America. It is quite different from other fish as it keeps its eggs in its mouth. The interesting fact about it is that instead of the female, the male takes the responsibility of looking after the young ones. After the eggs are laid and fertilized, the male quickly puts them into his mouth. The young ones completely fill its mouth and prevent it for eating. The male fish carries them around for a month. During this period it is unable to take its food, and lives off the food reserves built up before the spawning. Moreover, his motherly role does not end even after the hatching of eggs. For two more weeks, the youngsters swim in to his mouth to hide when any danger threatens them. There are seven kinds of fishes, which are called catfish ad are found in eastern and central North America.

A Catfish has eggs in the mouth

            Some species, like the flathead catfish ad blue catfish, can weigh more than 45 kilograms. The catfishes live near the bottom of slow-moving rivers and lakes. They have four pairs of barbells around their mouth. These barrels look like the whiskers of a cat and hence they are called catfishes. The barbells are quite sensitive and help the catfish feel its way around and find its food.

            The male catfish plays the role of a mother immediately after the fertilization of eggs. The electric catfish is a variety which uses electrical discharges to stun and capture other fishes. Its electric organs lie just under the skin and cover its body and part of the tail. A large catfish may even produce a voltage of 350 volts.

            Another kind of catfish, the Wels catfish, grows to huge sizes in muddy-bottomed lakes in central Europe. Some specimens grow up to 9 feet in length and weigh 600 pounds; some others compete with Arapaima, which is claimed to be the largest freshwater fish in the world.