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Betta Senses

Vision

A Betta has monocular vision, which means that it can see in two directions at the same time. Overall, the Betta’s eyesight is somewhat poor. To detect vibrations and get an overall feel for its surrounding, Bettas use a “lateral line,” which runs down their sides.

Hearing

The anatomy of the Betta’s ear is fairly simple, consisting of a single channel. Essentially, a Betta hears vibrations that occur around it and travel through water. The swim bladder also plays a role in the hearing by interacting with sensory parts within the ear.

Taste

Taste buds are located in the mouth and, believe or not, in the fins!

Smell

Yes, a Betta can smell! Bettas smell through their nostrils, although the process of “smelling” is separate from the Betta’s respiratory system.

The Labyrinth Organ

This is a special organ that processes oxygen from the air. It is highly valuable as Bettas evolved in waters with low oxygen content. It is located within the head just behind the gills. Read more about the Labyrinth organ in the next part.

Betta Anatomy

Betta Fish Anatomy

Both male and female Bettas basically have the same anatomy. Both have a cylindrical form, with the anterior part of the body tapering to a laterally compressed shape. The pelvic fins are quite long and extended, particularly in males. The dorsal fin inserts behind the midpoint of the back and varies in length from short to moderate. In domesticated male Betta splendors, this fin can be exaggerated into a huge sail. Near the pectoral fin insertion, the anal fin is long and when splayed, it billows out like a large fan, in the same way as the caudal fin. When at rest, both fins hang down, giving the appearance of long folded drapes. As a Betta ages, his tail and fins grow longer and heavier, causing him to become sluggish. He will become rejuvenated following what is referred to as ‘blowing his tail.’ He loses it only to have it grow back with some discoloration and unevenness. However, the loss of the heavy tail rejuvenates him.

The beard, which is the membrane under the gill plate cover, is displayed by both males and females when flaring, although the females are considerably smaller. Without having the ability to blink, the Betta’s eyes protrude. Their mouths are particularly interesting. With rows of tiny pointed teeth and powerful jaws, they are perfectly designed and positioned to both devour and blow bubbles.

Proportionately, Bettas have bigger and strong jaws than the great white shark! What is further intriguing about them is the way the males gently carry the eggs in their mouths without damaging them on their sharp teeth.

The internal organs of the Betta splendens, which include the brain, heart, stomach, liver, and spleen, are mostly located between the head and the beginning of the anal fin. The lower half of its anatomy is flesh, spine, and swim bladder.

Between these betta anatomical features and specific behavioral characteristics, today’s Bettas can unquestionably be classified as members of the suborder Anabantoidei.

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