The quality which make mammals unique among the rest of animals, is the ability to give milk to their children. But, is there any other creature able to do something like this? The answer is YES AND NO. When an ability is useful in nature, it is not rare that different kinds of creatures try to experiment with it, creating new devices for the same objective. Sometimes you can use a rock to hammer a nail and get the same result…or even a better one, and this is the case here.

The Eelpout (Soarces viviparus) was already a well known fish because of its capacity of breathing air, giving birth to living brood, and especially for its good taste in european kitchens. But recently something really amazing of this fish has been discovered. Many fish (even some sharks) are able to give birth to living brood, but the eelpout children were born much bigger and developed than any other fish. How?

What the scientists discovered was that the eelpout was able to feed their children inside her, just as a kangaroo with her baby in her natural bag. Fish almost in general have no uterus, so the ovules are fertilized in the water or (in the case of viviparous fish) in the ovary itself, being the last one the case here. During all the process in which ovules become eggs and finally little fish, each egg is surrounded by a layer or cells, or follicles. So when the fat supply in the eggs ends, the little fish attach their mouths to the follicles and start sucking a substance rich in fat and proteins, just as if their mother would be giving milk to them.

This discovery happened by chance and was a real surprise to science.

What else could be out there?

#Version en espanol (Spanish version)#

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