Shop Windows to the Universe

Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather by Mike Smith tells the story of our storm warning system. See our online store book collection.
This is just one species of butterflyfish. Isn't it pretty?!
Click on image for full size
Windows Original, adapted from Corel Photography

Butterflyfish

There are several species in the Chaetodontidae family, commonly known as the butterflyfish. These colorful, bony fish are most often found near coral reefs at depths from 1 to 100 feet. Some species of butterflyfish are carnivorous; their meals usually consist of worms, crustaceans and the fleshy part of corals called polyps. The rest are omnivorous, which means they eat animals as well as plants, such as algae.

Butterflyfish come in sizes between 6 and 12 inches, and usually have very bright colors. The Golden-striped Butterflyfish glows a beautiful yellow, almost like a tiny Sun in the water. The Ornate Butterflyfish is truly remarkable. Most of its body is a light blue, with bright orange stripes flaming across. The outer edge of the fish is a greenish color, with traces of yellow and black stripes.

This special family is easily recognized in the water because of its shape and beauty. Butterflyfish are rather flat and oval-shaped. A short 'snout' sticks out at one end, while a fan-shaped tail stems out from the back. The overall appearance of the fish makes them a popular pet.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Traveling Nitrogen is a fun group game appropriate for the classroom. Players follow nitrogen atoms through living and nonliving parts of the nitrogen cycle. For grades 5-9.

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Can there be Life in the Environment of Jupiter?

Jupiter's atmospheric environment is one of strong gravity, high pressure, strong winds, from 225 miles per hour to 1000 miles per hour, and cold temperatures of -270 degrees to +32 degrees (freezing temperature)....more

The possible discovery of Life on Mars

In July, 1996, it was announced that Dr. David McKay, along with a team of scientists at Johnson Space Center (a division of NASA), had discovered possible fossils of bacteria in an ancient rock from Mars....more

The Environment of Saturn

Saturn's atmospheric environment is one of strong gravity, high pressure, strong winds, from 225 miles per hour to 1000 miles per hour, and cold temperatures of -270 degrees to +80 degrees. With winds...more

The Environment of Titan, can there be Life?

Titan's atmosphere is a lot like the Earth's, except that it is very cold, from -330 degrees to -290 degrees! Like the Earth, there is a lot of Nitrogen and other complex molecules. There also may be an...more

Autotrophs

Autotrophs are organisms that produce organic compounds from an inorganic source of carbon (carbon dioxide) given a source of energy. If the source of energy is the reactions of inorganic chemical compounds,...more

Coacervates

In the warm primordial ocean, aggregates of amino acids, proteins, and other hydrocarbons coalesced into a form called *coacervates*. Organic polymers such as amino acids will spontaneously form coacervates...more

Early Life

Organisms that are able to make their own food (in the form of sugars) by using the energy of the Sun are called autotrophs, meaning "self-feeders". Photosynthesis is the name of the process through which...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF