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Planet Earth

What Is This? Abstract Expressionism?

Hint: These plates cover a creature that's flat and round—hence its name.

whatisthis.jpg
Dr Havi Sarfaty, Veterinary Association, Photo Courtesy of Nikon Small World | NULL

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Answer: A Discus FishThe aptly named discus fish has a compressed, circular body and is native to tributaries of the Amazon River in South America. Despite their shy demeanor and extreme sensitivity to water quality, discus fish are a popular choice for aquariums because of their mesmerizing, brightly colored markings. Discus fish feed their young through a strange form of nursing; the larvae nibble at a protein-packed mucus secretion on their parents’ skin. This 20x-magnification image of the fish’s scales captured sixth place in Nikon’s 2009 Small World competition.

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