National Geographic : 1921 Jan
74 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE S(o visibility of the fish. Contrast, for in S stance, the color plans of the Rock Hind and the bizarre Rock Beauty (Plate II). clL.\HMELEoNS AMONGG T'lHE FISHES u These groupers, rock fishes, and hinds, furthermore, have the power of under S 8 going complete color changes almhnost in +. stantaneously. The color tone becomes - lighter or darker and the markings be o come bold or fade and disappear. Such , color changes can be seen to advantage in individuals kept in an aquarium. .: There can be no doubt that in the fishes' ° natural environment they adapt it to the - bottom it is swimming over, and, further, that inconspicuousness may aid in its getting a full meal at the expense of its smaller associates. S 'There is a related fish which has a k color pattern almost exactly like that of ''1 Bthe Rock Hind, namely, the Spotted Hind. The principal technical difference * between the two is that one has minute ' gQ; scales on its maxillary and the other has *. not-a characteristic about as obvious to S the layman as what the fish is thinking ' : about. The Spotted Iind's squarish tail S fin, with a broad, blackish border, affords an amateurish, but simpler, way of tell S ing it. v. The fish life of warm shores is one of '- contrasts. In contrast to the big-mouthed Ssea basses, there are species, usually slug gish, which have very small mouths, de ti C pending for their subsistence on the great abundance of small sea animals found , , about tropical reefs and ledges, or sea weeds. To capture such small creatures does not require great agility. THE MALE SE \-I[ORS[E HAS AN INCUBATOR The sort of life they lead has plroblably been taken up gradually, through long periods of time, and many of them have meanwhile acquired remarkable and sometimes quite unfishlike characters of form and structure. None is stranger than the little Sea-horses (Plate I-), with body encased in rings of bony mail, horse-shaped head set at right angles. and prehensile tail to grasp the seaweed where they are hiding, body floating up S ward erect in the water.