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Science, Evolution, and Creationism, by the National Academies, focuses on teaching evolution in today's classrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store.
This is just one species of butterflyfish. Isn't it pretty?!
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Windows Original, adapted from Corel Photography


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.

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"Science, Evolution, and Creationism", by the National Academies, provides fascinating background on these topics for all, and is particularly useful for the Earth and space science classroom. Check our other books in our online store.

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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