Photo: Gardening Fish "Domesticate" Crops of Algae



A damselfish minds its garden of algae among the coral reefs off Japan's Ryukyu Islands.

Recent research suggests that the islands' dusky farmerfish—a type of damselfish—has developed a co-dependent relationship with its preferred food, a particular species of red algae.

The fish chase other herbivores and invasive algae species away from their farms, and the algae is so well cared for that it doesn't grow anywhere else.

Photograph courtesy Hiroki Hata


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