National Geographic : 1990 May
species feigns death and resem bles pale and rotting fish to lure juveniles close enough to prey upon them. At least two other cichlid species mimic their prey in order to get close enough to scrape the scales from their flanks. Little that can be eaten is left unexploited. Each cichlid species has two sets of jaws that are tailor-made for its particular feeding habits. One set is in the mouth, and the other, the pharyngeal bones, is located in the back of the throat. Teeth on the oral jaws specialize in prey capture and getting food into the mouth, and the pharyn geal teeth are used for chewing. The food that a species eats can be determined by studying the shape of its teeth. The oral teeth of most predators are pointed. Some algae-feeders have brush like teeth for scraping plant life off rocks. Snail-feeders have strong pharyngeal jaws and teeth for crushing shells. PETER REINTHAL, a research fellow at New York City's American Museum of Natural History, studies fish ecology and classification.