Here is something phenomenal, I have to share with you all:
A mother cichlid keeps her babies in her mouth to protect them. Sometimes she let’s them out as shown above. Her mouth serves as a nest and nursery.
It may seem like a good system, but it’s not exactly.
Let me introduce these guys:
These catfish are notorious parasites. The catfish try and pick up a few of cichlid eggs. The mother defends her station, while the catfish drop a few of their own eggs. They know the cichlid mother will pick them up and think of it as her own egg.
So the cichlid become a surrogate mother for the offspring of their enemy. The catfish take off soon, not knowing what’s becomes of their young. The cichlid mother does her job, letting her brood grow in her mouth.
Like in a horror movie, the catfish eggs hatch first. The baby catfish gobbles up every single one of the cichlid babies.
The cichlid mother releases, not her own babies, but the killer catfish baby that ate of all her own children.
The cichlid mom doesn’t realize the switch and treats the catfish baby as if it were her own.
A morbid, ironic twist. Here’s the video for this
Another interesting science post: How the Mokin Children Are Able to See Crystal Clear Underwater