Alcolapia alcalica by Michael K. Oliver, Ph.D
Lake Natron is located in northern Tanzania. What sets Lake Natron apart from other rift lakes is an unusual combination of factors which make it an incredibly inhospitable lake. High temperatures, shallow waters and mineral-rich hot springs combine to raise the pH of the lake as high as 10.5. Despite all these factors, 3 species of alkaline tilapias make their home in these waters; Alcolapia latilabris, A. ndalalani and A. alcalica.
What is also amazing about these alkaline tilapias is not only can they thrive in alkaline waters that would kill most other cichlids, but they can also live in more neutral pH waters. To understand just how hostile the waters of Lake Natron are, take a look at the Lake That Turns Animals to Stone? Not Quite article on LifeScience.com.
Photo by Nick Brandt