Archerfish Says..."I Spit in Your Face!"

In many cultures, spitting is considered rude; in the world of the archerfish, spitting just means you're trying to catch dinner! Journey to the mangroves of Southeast Asia to meet the archerfish, an expert marksman that shoots insects clinging to the roots above it with a stream of water. Not only do they shoot to kill, archerfish also have the ability to recognize human faces, a trait traditionally reserved for organisms with large, elaborate brains.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Launch a research project on animal adaptations and use the video as a starting point
  • Liven up a lesson on predator-prey relationships or marine ecosystems
Classroom Considerations

  • Does not require any prior knowledge to enjoy the resource
Pros

  • Shows the archerfish from both water level and the prey's view, which helps pupils get a sense of how accurate their spit can be
  • Viewers see the research setting where biologists discovered the fish can recognize a specific human face and get to watch as the fish picks from a series of faces
Cons

  • None
Common Core