The mangrove swamps of Sri Lanka provide “vital nurseries for young fish. One mangrove specialist, the archer fish, has developed an extraordinary way of getting a bite to eat.”
Why are the root systems of Sri Lanka’s mangrove forest an ideal underwater nursery for archer fish and other aquatic organisms?
The “Destination Wild” video shows how aquatic creatures thrive in mangrove swamps. What terrestrial creatures—animals that live primarily on land—inhabit this ecosystem?
How do you think the shape and coloring of an archer fish allows it to “sneak up” on prey?
Some biologists think that the archer fish uses water as a tool to target prey. What other animals use tools for hunting?
- There are only seven species of archer fish in the world.
- All archer fish are native to coastal waters of Southeast Asia, Australia, and Oceania.
- Archer fish can live in freshwater, saltwater, and brackish water.
- During archer fish “shooting parties,” several fish shoot at a single prey—and then scramble to recover it when an archer in their party knocks it over.
- An archer fish is just as likely to leap out of the water to grab an insect in its mouth as it is to “take aim” from below the surface.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry aquatic Adjective
having to do with water.
all the different kinds of living organisms within a given area.
Encyclopedic Entry: biodiversity brackish water Noun
salty water, usually a mixture of seawater and freshwater.
to hide or disguise by blending in to surroundings. Also called cryptic coloration.
edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.
Encyclopedic Entry: coast dappled Adjective
spotted, or having areas of differently colored shades or tones.
having parts or molecules that are packed closely together.
community and interactions of living and nonliving things in an area.
Encyclopedic Entry: ecosystem endangered species Noun
organism threatened with extinction.
Encyclopedic Entry: endangered species first-order consumer Noun
in a food chain or food web, an organism that eats (consumes) a producer. First-order consumers are usually herbivores.
food web Noun
all related food chains in an ecosystem. Also called a food cycle.
Encyclopedic Entry: food web forest Noun
ecosystem filled with trees and underbrush.
having to do with a habitat or ecosystem of a lake, river, or spring.
environment where an organism lives throughout the year or for shorter periods of time.
Encyclopedic Entry: habitat high tide Noun
water level that has risen as a result of the moon's gravitational pull on the Earth.
laterally compressed Adjective
flattened from side-to-side, or appearing normally from the side but unusually thin and narrow from above or below.
type of tree or shrub with long, thick roots that grows in salty water.
place where young animals are cared for.
animal that hunts other animals for food.
animal that is hunted and eaten by other animals.
type of mammal, including humans, apes, and monkeys.
root system Noun
all of a plant's roots.
saltwater swamp Noun
wooded area near a tidal basin or a protected ocean shore that is partially flooded with seawater for most of the year.
storm surge Noun
abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm. Also called a storm tide.
Encyclopedic Entry: storm surge swamp Noun
land permanently saturated with water and sometimes covered with it.
Encyclopedic Entry: swamp terrestrial Adjective
having to do with the Earth or dry land.
instrument used to help in the performance of a task.
ocean waves triggered by an earthquake, volcano, or other movement of the ocean floor.