Visit Kelso’s WIP journals to follow the construction of this model.
Male C. elegans
Chewie hangs his head out the window. I think the artist is Matt Haley, but I don’t see it on his website.
Help! My Betta is changing colors!
The pictures above are of my Betta, taken three days apart. When people see a sudden, dramatic color change, they tend to assume some type of illness, but in Bettas, this isn’t the case. If your Betta starts changing color, you have what’s known as a Marble Betta!
What’s so special about a Marble Betta?
Well they are (obviously) special because they have the ability to change color. Some marbles will change for a short period of time before settling on a final color, while others will continue to change throughout their lives.
What makes a Betta have a Marble color?
Genes are short segments of DNA that control everything. They determine what your hair color will be, they tell your body how to digest food, or how tall to grow. Bettas that change color have a special gene known as a “jumping gene” called transposons. These special “jumping genes” are what scientists hypothesize are responsible for the diversity of bacteria and prokaryotes, and they also help give your Betta the ability to change color. These genes have two functions which makes them important in marbling Bettas:
- They can override another gene. If a transposon goes onto a gene that normally tells the Betta to be a blue color, they force the gene to stop producing this blue color, and the fish may become transparent.
- They have the ability to “jump”. So the transposon could start attached to the blue gene, but then move to a gene for another color. Once it moves off the blue gene, the fish will then start displaying the blue color again. If transposons keep moving, the fish can keep changing color throughout its life. However, it seems that generally marbled fish stop shifting once they hit maturity.
Marbling is fun!
It’s hard to predict when marbling will occur, although random color splotches on your Betta may give a hint as to if your fish carries the gene, but it’s always interesting to see what color it may end up as!