Turquoise killifish: 14 days to maturity

The fish that grows up in just 14 days

! Circa 2018

Some animals live fast and die young. They must also grow quickly. Researchers have set a new record for rapid growth. Susan Milius of Science News reported that the turquoise killerifish (Nothobranchius fuzeri) found in Mozambique can reach maturity within 14 days. This is the fastest known vertebrate animal.

According to a study published in Current Biology this week, the rapid maturation of killifish is an adaptation to its habitat. The fish live most of their life as embryos, which have been deposited into small depressions in the savannah. The embryos reach sexual maturity quickly and then deposit their own eggs before the ephemeral pool dries again. They not only make babies fast, but they also bulk up quickly.

Researchers have known for some time that the killifish is a super-fast mature. This trait is the reason why the fish is often used in studies on aging. In the laboratory, where fish lead a relatively relaxed lifestyle, the average maturation rate is 18 days.


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