The mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus, is a killifish in the family Fundulidae native to brackish and coastal waters along the Eastern North American seaboard from Florida to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Known for its hardiness and tolerance of a wide range of salinity, oxygen levels, temperature and pollution in their environment, they also have a broad diet including diatoms, a range of invertebrates, fish and fish eggs and sea grass. Mummichogs have been used widely as an experimental fish since the end of the nineteenth century, in studies such as embryology, regeneration, developmental genetics, and starting in about 1930, in studies of endocrinology and toxicity. In addition, mummichogs have been included in biology experiments on space missions such as Spacelab 3 and Bion 3. In 1973 a pair of mummichogs were the first space fish on a voyage on Spacelab 3, investigating the role of otolith (earbone) organs. They are used to stock small ponds for mosquito control, and for bait.
(Atz 1986; Kraft, Carlson, and Carlson 2006; Webster’s online dictionary; Wikipedia 8 February 2012; Wikipedia 17 December 2011)
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