Weekly Fish – The Jawless Horror

Weekly Fish – The Jawless Horror

There aren’t all that many jawless fishes roaming the seas nowadays. One of them, the eel-like lamprey (Petromyzon), has a highly multifunctional, circular mouth with several rows of tiny, sharp teeth. The lamprey uses it to attach itself to rocks so as to stay in one place, or to hitch a ride on the hull of a ship, sometimes slowing it down significantly. The sucker-mouth can also be used to pick up rocks and arrange them in a neat circle within which the eggs can be deposited. Most notably, however, it uses its mouth to attach itself to other fishes, pierce their skin, and suck their blood. Continue reading “Weekly Fish – The Jawless Horror”

Weekly Fish – The Flatfish’s Jealous Eyes

Weekly Fish – The Flatfish’s Jealous Eyes

In the Grimm story where the fishes have a swimming contest in order to decide who is to become king, one of the contenders is the plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), who is not known for its impressive speed. It is of course crushingly defeated by the herring (and almost everyone else), and as the fishes cry out the news the plaice angrily screams, “who is first? Who is first?” The other fishes reply, “the herring! The herring!” The plaice shrieks, “The naked herring? The naked herring?” As a punishment for this jealous behaviour, the plaice has its mouth on one side from then on. Continue reading “Weekly Fish – The Flatfish’s Jealous Eyes”

Weekly Fish – Another Herring King

Weekly Fish – Another Herring King

There is a final contender for the title ‘king of the fishes’ that deserves consideration. It too is sometimes called ‘king of the herrings’, though it is not entirely clear why. However, given our culture’s preferences in what we consider kingly, this snake-like fish probably has the best qualifications. After all, it is not just an oarfish, but the giant oarfish. Because, you know, it is big. Continue reading “Weekly Fish – Another Herring King”