Oldest Living Fish
Imagine discovering a fish thought to be extinct for 66 million years! This is exactly what happened when a fish was discovered off the South African east coast in 1938. This fish is known as a “living fossil” because it evolved in its present form about 400 million years ago.
Goldfish are most often the fish that novice fishkeepers start with, but this little fish has more to it than it is given credit for. Goldfish are fairly intelligent and can recognize the human that regularly feeds them. Happy goldfish are active little fish that gives hours of entertainment.
Fishes vary in length, from the smallest fish (Paedocypris progenetica) at under a third of an inch, to the largest, which can reach lengths of 41.5 feet. This largest fish is actually a filter feeder and eat very small organisms!
Expensive Fish Products
Beluga caviar is one of the most expensive fish products and a real gourmet dish. This is produced from the roe (eggs) of the female fish. Because this is very high-valued and sought-after, the fishes are seriously over-fished in the wild.
How Does A Fish Breathe?
Fishes cannot take oxygen out of the air, but rather take dissolved oxygen from the water. A fish has a constant flow of water, passing through its mouth and over the organ that extracts the oxygen.
Fishes are fast swimmers, usually beating a human’s speed in the water of 5 to 6 miles per hour by far! The fastest fishes, at 70 mph even swim faster than a submarine that can only reach about 50 mph.
To keep fish is a very rewarding and interesting hobby. Saltwater tanks were always a bit of a mystery with only the select few that managed it. But not anymore – with all the new equipment available nowadays, it is easy to keep these very beautiful and interesting fishes.
Recreational fishing is a rich tradition in the USA, with super fishing spots available all around the country. Take for instance the Florida Keys and the Outer Banks in North Carolina. There is also a variety of fish to catch, with some giving the sportsman a real run for his money!
Manta Rays are biologically close to sharks but are not true sharks. They are also very intelligent and have the largest brain-to-size ratio of any cold-blooded fish. They are able to recognize themselves in a mirror, which only dolphins, elephants, and primates can do.
Predatory fish are carnivorous fish that actively prey on fish and other marine creatures. Examples of these are shark, billfish, and barracuda. Most of these predators hunt alone, but some hunt in schools. They can be truly terrifying when working together like this.
Fish can breed in different ways. The most common is for the female to drop the eggs in the water, where it is fertilized by the male. The eggs can also be fertilized inside the female’s body before she drops them in the water, or she can retain the eggs in her body with the young being born alive.
Poisonous fish are poisonous to eat, like the pufferfish that will give serious food poisoning if eaten. Other fishes are venomous and use their poison to actively kill their prey or to defend themselves. They will deliberately deliver the poison by means of a bite, sting, or stab.
Fish in Cold Water
Fish living in Antarctica have antifreeze glycoproteins that help them survive the freezing water. This, together with the ability to transport oxygen through the body without the need for hemoglobin, cause these fish to thrive at these extreme temperatures.
When fish are removed from the sea at a rate faster than the fish can reproduce and therefore replenish the population, it is called overfishing. This can lead to serious imbalances and even the eradication of sensitive species like sea turtles and coral.
Fish have starred prominently in quite a few very enjoyable movies. Take for instance “A Fish called Wanda” and the ever-popular “Finding Nemo”, where an overprotective father is looking for his son with the help of a few friends.
You get some of the most colorful animals living in the sea. These colorful fish are mostly found in tropical waters. They do not all occur in the sea, however, some of the freshwater cichlid species are also very colorful.
Fish That Can Fly
Flying fish should actually be called “gliding fish” as these fish cannot really fly. They propel themselves out of the water at great speeds and then glide through the air. They can glide for amazing distances.
Fish in Symbiotic Relationships
In the ocean, there are quite a few relationships between different animals that can be mutually advantageous. One of these is the relationship between cleaner fishes and bigger fishes.
A fish scale is a small, rigid plate that actually grows out of the skin of the fish. Scales can vary greatly in size, from rigid plates in fishes like boxfishes, to being almost absent in eels and anglerfishes.
A school of fish is a group of the same fish species swimming and turning together. Fish sometimes do this at certain times of the year, or under certain conditions, like the yearly sardine run along the east coast of South Africa.