Boxy Beauty

Creation on Display

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That blunt nose and blocky body make the boxfish a picture of speed. It’s a piscine Porsche, the Corvette of the coral reef, a Ferrari with fins!

Eh . . . not so much.

While it may look more like an underwater ice cream truck, the boxfish’s square design has distinct advantages over its sleek competitors. Its boxy shape is composed of precisely interlocking armor plates that make it a difficult meal for predators. And that armor has to be really good because the boxfish’s ungainly shape makes escaping nearly impossible.

Or does it?

The square profile means that without constant adjustments from its fins the boxfish would careen out of control around the reef, and that flat nose is the opposite of streamlined. But while it may not win any straight-line speed records, the boxfish’s radically unsteady design makes for blindingly fast cornering. It’s perfect for darting in and out of safe hiding places in the coral reef.

So while the boxfish may seem ungainly, it’s built perfectly for the place where God put it. And as a bonus, its unique shape and bright colors make it a delightful reminder of God’s creativity.

Boxfish

hansgertbroeder | Thinkstockphotos.com

Answers Magazine

October–December 2015

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