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Why is the Brown-snout Spookfish still surviving? It was discussed in  Nature, Jan 07, 2009. It has an unusual opening to the outside of each eye. There is a sheet of reflective crystals at the back of these open holes which focus light (and sound?) on the back of the eye perhaps creating a multimedia stereo visual-audio effect. It was not reported what function these pockets served for the fish, only some speculations such as mine. Click to see the amazing similarity of this modern fish to our human ancestor the Tiktaalik roseae which came out of the water 370 million years ago. There must be some superior survival advantages to this structural and associated behavioral formation, for it to have survived unchanged for such a long time with such diverse species.

Spookfish with unusual openings next to its eyes

Spookfish with unusual openings next to its eyes

This stimulates me to ask a very basic question, What are the factors that make for long term survivability? I sought an exhaustive list of survival techniques on Google but didn’t find one so once again it seems necessary to create something that should already be readily available.


A quick list of survival essential abilities would include:

  1. Capture food
    1. Move toward food sources
      1. Scatter seeds
      2. Pseudopod-crawling
      3. Swimming cilla
      4. Swimming fins
      5. Swim by undulating
      6. Walk
      7. Fly
      8. Ride
      9. Parasite
    2. Lure prey
      1. Lurk near prey food sources
      2. Prepare prey sites
      3. Present food to prey
    3. Hide from prey
      1. Holes
      2. Shelter
      3. Brambles
      4. Above in trees
      5. Within trees
    4. Camouflage
      1. Coloration like surroundings
      2. Shape like surroundings
      3. Appear like prey
  2. Reproduce
    1. a Duplication – Asexual reproduction
      1. Binary fission
      2. Budding
      3. Vegetative reproduction
      4. Spore formation
      5. Fragmentation
      6. Parthenogensis
      7. Agamogenesis
      8. Apomixis
      9. Nucellar embryony
    2. Sexual
      1. Bacterial conjugation
      2. Flowering plants
      3. Ferns
      4. Bryophytes
      5. Fungi
      6. Insects
      7. Mammals
      8. Fish
    3. Attraction
      1. Health
      2. Symmetry
      3. Fertility
      4. Status
      5. Resources
  3. Avoid predation
    1. Hide from predators
      1. Holes
      2. Shelter
      3. Brambles
      4. Above in trees
      5. Within trees and grass
      6. With random jinking
      7. With flock actions
    2. Identify predators at a distance
      1. Sight
      2. Smell
      3. Behavior
      4. Sound
    3. Camouflage—hiding
      1. Coloration like surroundings
      2. Shapes like surroundings
      3. Movements like surroundings
    4. Camouflage—flagrant
      1. Pretending to look dangerous
      2. Pretending to be big
      3. Pretending to charge
      4. Pretending to see predator
      5. Bluffing
      6. Repel with tiny injuries
    5. Flight
      1. Faster than predator
      2. Quicker turns
      3. Stay near safe havens
      4. Stay in safe havens
      5. Have break-off body parts
    6. Armor
      1. Grow a shell
      2. Grow tough skin
      3. Grow a plate
    7. Weapons
      1. Acting jumpy and aggressive
      2. Cutting weapons
      3. Clubbing weapons
      4. Poisons
      5. Horrible taste
      6. Horrible smell
      7. Pretending to see the predator
      8. Leave knock out food poisons