Amazing Survival Adaptation of a Bizarre Tropical Fish

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This giant Gourami is a bizarre fish that has adapted to a very specific environment in several amazing ways. Native to waters of southeast Asia, such as Borneo and India, the creature lives in stagnant ponds and rivers where oxygen content is lower than most fish could survive. As a result, a special organ has developed in these fish that cover and partially replace conventional gill tissue. Amazingly, the fish is able to breathe air at the surface, similar to mammals. Because of its reduced gill function, however, the Giant Gourami must have access to surface air or it will drown.

Additionally, eggs must be near the surface of the water so that developing fry can obtain sufficient oxygen. The male produces a very unique mucous in his mouth that he uses to trap air bubbles to construct a nest. He will add sticks, leaves and other buoyant material to make a floating nest for the young. He scoops up eggs in his mouth as the female lays them and carefully transports the eggs to the surface to be deposited in the floating nest. He even guards the young until they are old enough to fend for themselves. The male giant Gourami is one of the most involved fathers in the animal kingdom.

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