Male featherfin cichlid fish underwater

Cichlid fish

Cichlid fish are famed for their rapid evolution, particularly in the African Great Lakes, where over a thousand new species have evolved over the last 12,400 to 100,000 years. The members of the cichlid family have diverse diets, mating habits and methods of looking after their young.

Scientific name: Cichlidae

Rank: Family

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Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Cichlid fish distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Lakes and ponds Lakes and ponds
From the smallest pond (1m square) to the largest lake, this biome provides many opportunities for life to thrive. Because many of these bodies of water are closed environments, they often have self-contained ecologies, enabling some to become evolutionary microcosms.

Behaviours

Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Adapted to swimming Adapted to swimming
Adaptations for swimming enables animals to move around in water. Animals that can swim proficiently (natatorial) fall into three categories.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • African Wildlife African Wildlife

    Sir David Attenborough's Africa series took over four years to make and has brought us eye to eye with the continent's incredible wildlife in spectacular ways.

  • This is Planet Earth This is Planet Earth

    Narrated by Sir David Attenborough Planet Earth was the ground-breaking series that explored the wild and beautiful parts of our planet like never before.

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