Monday, 12 May 2008

A quick sex change

as

By now readers you may have guessed that I am easily amused by pretty much anything. Including myself.

Today the humble Gobi fish stopped me in my tracks. I am in awe. Nature is a great teacher, right?

Not only do Gobis go on diets but they can also opt for a quick sex change if times get desperate.

Seems Gobis live in their gorgeous coral abodes in groups of 5-10 for their entire lives. Apparently, the two biggest fish in the group become the breeding pair and then the rest form a pecking order based on their size. They then wait in line to gain breeding rights and only get their chance when one of the breeders dies of old age or happens upon an 'accident'.

Because they are accommodating and patient, they do not queue jump. They maintain their size and make sure that they don't grow bigger than the Gobi ahead of them. They regularly stretch out to measure themselves against each other (kind of like a Weight Watchers meeting). If they fancy 'pigging out', getting fat and therefore queue jumping, they risk getting kicked out of the coral into the waiting mouths of predators. So, instead, if they feel they are getting too big for their station, they go on a diet.

That's not all. When two female Gobi fish meet in a dimly lit corner of a coral reef, the chances are that one will turn into a male so the two can mate. Yep, a sex change. For the slow-moving Gobi fish, this can be a good strategy, as a long search for a mate of the opposite sex puts them at the mercy of predators.

Apparently though, female Gobis are far more willing to change sex than the males are.

Figures. Males know they have it made already and are not prepared to take their chances with the risky sex change reversal.....and females are always willing to compromise when it comes to the necessities in life..

Told you. It sure does confirm a few things.

22 comments:

  1. I think I've met a few Gobis in my time, as well. We think humans are complex and these fish are only about 2-3cm in size. Funny...

    ReplyDelete
  2. 2-3 cm in size? well, then, i would imagine it's fairly easy to change from female to male when the, um, masculine equipment you'd have to drum up would be somewhere in the range of one millimeter in length.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have seen this in National Geo too and found it so fascinating!

    That's actually neat and they don't even have to spend a dime on doing the sex change.They seem to be very disciplined too LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lilly - I wouldn't say that you are easily amused; it's more likely that you are a very complex and diverse person who finds knowledge and usable information in the most obscure places. (I thought that was more polite than saying you're just weird). lol

    ReplyDelete
  5. Helena - didnt know they were that small. Thanks for dropping by.

    Horatio salt - you are to blame as you told me to examine ants when the big issues are too overwhelming, if you recall. Gobis kind of took my fancy for all of a few minutes. Oh dear, come to think of it then, I have met some Gobis in my time too it seems.

    Pinay jade - it is kind of fascinating, particularly given all these creatures have quite complex social systems. Makes us human look a bit ordinary really. Lovely to have you dropping by - love the look or your site BTW.

    Matt - see you Texans are always polite but you did pick me in one -just plain weird. You know what it is, I think I have had my fill of horrible news stories and want to focus on something just plain ridiculous. Speaking of which, have you ever visited Horatio salt's site - Wundurful Wurld - you haven't seen weird until you see this site - very funny. Sometimes I have to read it with the help of a dictionary. Good to see aid is now being allowed in to Burma - but then now look at whats happened in China. Take Care

    ReplyDelete
  6. Another great article Lilly! Love your blog. I started a new project at my sites. I have started listing blog sites i come across that i think are 5 star. Yours is my first listing. It is my way of saying thanks to you for running an excellent blog.
    Gary

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fascinating, and yeah, quite funny too. Keep up the good blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  8. RainforestRobin14 May 2008 at 06:40

    OH MY GAWD LILLY!!! Where do you find this stuff??? Only YOU would come up with an a story like this. If it were anyone else....hmmm...Horatio Salt for example...(Hi Horaito - said very sweetly with a twinkle in my eyes)...AS I WAS SAYING...if it was anyone else I would probably think that HE made it up. LOL :) But since it is YOU and you are extremely witty BUT HONEST (are you still reading Horatio?), I know this weird story has to be the gods honest truth. Right?

    Now, I think the reason the females change sex more readily is because THEY are the SMART ones. They sure as heck aren't going to miss out on one single opportunity. See we females just don't give ourselves enough credit. We know what we want and how to get it. :) :) LOL HAHAHAHAHAHAH Okay then, I'm outta here!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gary - thanks for dropping by - yes this story kind of made me smile and thats always a good thing with so much other disasters going on around us. WOW - I am honoured that you would give me 5 star rating. I am a bit of an amateur blogger but really enjoy it and get annoyed when work interferes with this hobby. I am just surprised anyone reads it but I am glad you enjoy my mad experiences. I will come by and visit your new site!

    Jakill - thanks so much for dropping by - yes its pretty fascinating all right. I cant figure out human behaviour so I turned to fish instead.

    Robin - I totally get where you are coming from on the whole Horatio Salt angle. He he...I heard the Gobi story on the radio briefly the other day and it stopped me in my tracks. Now you know all about the wonders of nature and how clever creatures are but I was truly impressed with the humble Gobi. And you are so right, we females of any species dont give ourselves enough credit. But these Gobi Gals are warrior princesses. And whats more, the female Gobis may lay the eggs but the males have to sit on them which means they cant play the field because they can only sit on so many of their darling offspring at once. Hilarious but truly fascinating!! And obviously form my level of interest in this, I may indeed need to get out more...

    ReplyDelete
  10. @ lilly: if you're using a dictionary to help you read my site, i can only assume you're sitting on it because your monitor is way too high. better lower it before you get a sore neck...;-)

    @ robin: you're right - if lilly's life keeps running stories this strange, she should be co-editing over at my place ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh this is just too rich! I've heard of this happening in nature before, but what a great spin you put on it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Lilly, thanks for the heads-up on Horatio's site. It's hilarious. Also, I like that you want to concentrate on happier and funnier things because you are so good at it. You make me laugh as few can. Leave the somber stuff to me. lol Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  13. @ horotio salt - Most of my posts, which are about my life and real, ARE a little strange. Least you have a disclaimer on your site stating your stories are not true. Imagine how you would be if they were even slightly true but then again, how does one get that level of creativity without some experience to draw from....

    @ Rachel - hello there, thanks for dropping by - its kind of a cute story!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey Matt - It's bizarre but the litmus test with humorous sites is if you laugh out loud. And Horotio's posts always get me laughing out loud. Often because its so off the wall I often wonder if you really did just read that stuff. I think you, on the other hand, have the best blog for all the important political and social issues we all should be across. I learn something every time I visit because you research topics really well and always argue your views well. I just talk about a bit of this and a bit of that and unfortunately I have this happy knack of taking a serious story and turning it into something a little funny. Unintentionally mostly.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Doing a sex change!!?? Well, we humans can accomplish everything but we can't get anywhere near the nature's way of doing things...

    Really long since I've been here!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lilly, you truly amused all of us with this post. I enjoyed all of your guests' comments as well and they're just as funny. I know why I keep coming back to your site. You are a very witty person. The kind of person everybody would like to hang out with. I shall go now and visit horatio salt's blog to see what's all the hoopla going on in his site. hehehe

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lilly, I just came from horatio salt's site, and you are so right about how hilarious he is. I busted out laughing, reading his postings and all of his guests comments, too. Have a great day.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Tashabud - yep, he is one hilarious person. I just wonder what he sprinkles on his breakfast cereal....thanks for dropping by. Something tells me from reading your blog that we may have the same kind of sense of humor actually.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Lilly,
    I believe you're right about this. It's feels good to have some sort of a common bonding with others in this bloggig hobby we're in.

    Salt, perhaps, is what he sprinkles in his breakfast cereal?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Indeed, salt it is. With a splash of Tabasco...

    ReplyDelete
  21. Um. Quite a lot of animals and insects do something similar to this, actually. Still, it gives a whole new meaning to, "Shall we try a different position tonight, dear?" doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  22. abonny, funny - thanks for dropping by. Gosh how I need a laugh - its great!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comments.