These Baby Fish Exercise Constantly So They Can Get Even Cuter

first_img ‘Ring Fit Adventure’ Is a Nintendo Switch Exercise RPGGeek Pick: JBL Endurance Peak Are Excellent Exercise Headphones Stay on target You probably know exercise is super good for you, right? It can drop all-cause mortality significantly, can dramatically improve brain health, and might be the single best thing you can besides quitting smoking (if that’s a thing you do). One thing it can’t do though, is totally change the shape of our faces. An adorable species of fish from East Africa, Lake Malawi cichlids, on the other hand, do.These tiny fish (about four inches long) need to grow a strong jaw. They suck algae off of the lake bed, and need a powerful set of muscles to control the bones in their face and produce the motions necessary to gather all those tasty (and slimy) greens. As babies, they will open and close their mouths hundreds of times each minute to develop the muscles needed to form the proper-shaped jaw. But, because they’re babies, they’re cute as hell and you should definitely watch this video from Science Mag because you’ll see how smol and adorable the little swimmies are.Video credit:Yinan Hu/Craig Albertson*Ahem*Cute talk aside, it’s easy to forget that bones are actually living tissue and they respond to the stresses placed on them. As your (or any animal) muscles move, they pull on the bones. Provided that they’re strong enough and that whatever creature is moving about has the right nutrients, most animals will simply rework their skeleton to adapt. This is a process called “remodeling,” and it’s really amazing.I studied forensic anthropology at university, and our final project in osteology (literally the study of bones) was to take a skeleton the school had in its archives and describe everything about it. You can often tell what broad class of job someone had, how old they were and plenty more just from various features and growths that happen over time. Sedentary people have markedly different skeletons than bodybuilders, for example.It’s amazing to see a principle that’s a bit of a fun luxury (or, if you have bad posture, a possible source of pain) for us be such an important part of the development of another species. Nature’s full of surprises. And this one, at least, is definitely squee-worthy.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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