There are many interesting facts about fish that the average person may find hard to believe. With over 30,000 different species of fish worldwide it’s no wonder there are many interesting facts about this stunning underwater creature. If you think 30,000 is a lot, scientists believe there could be another 10,000+ species lurking in the depths that are yet to be discovered.
Fish have been around for at least 400,000,000 years with some experts believing they could even be older than that by another 100,000,000 years. In that time the basic shape and features of the fish haven’t changed that much, proving that they are perfectly adapted to their surroundings.
It’s just a shame that us as a human race don’t really appreciate the humble fish as we should, destroying their habitats and overfishing our beautiful oceans. But that is another post altogether. Let’s get back on track and take a look at some interesting and strange facts regarding what most of us take for granted, the humble fish. Let’s kick start this post with ‘Do fish have noses’.
Do Fish Have Noses?
The answer is yes, fish do have noses. They have two openings above their mouth called nares. These are basically their nostrils. Fish aren’t like us in the fact that they only use their noses for smell and not for breathing through.
Being able to smell is very important to your average fish. They use their sense of smell for hunting prey, finding food, sensing danger, and navigating their way around. It is said sharks can smell blood up to 0.5 kilometres away.
Can Fish Taste Their Food?
100% fish can taste their food, all the flavoured baits on the market would be a bit pointless otherwise.
Fish, like us, have taste buds for tasting what they are eating. Not only do they have taste buds on their tongues and inside their mouth, but also on their bodies.
Some fish also have barbules around their mouth for searching the bottom of the ocean/river/ lake etc, these also have taste buds on them.
Have Fish Got Ears?
Looking at your average fish you would be forgiven for saying fish don’t have ears. But they have in fact got ears that you won’t be able to see.
The reason for this is because they have inner ears. These inner ears are placed under their skin hence the reason you won’t see them.
These inner ears can use vibration which in return lets the fish hear sounds through the otoliths. These will also help with the fish’s balance while in the water.
Can Fish Swim Backwards?
A lot of people believe that a fish can’t swim backwards. This is in fact a bit of a myth. Almost all fish are able to in fact swim backwards easily and efficiently. Although the rule generally changes when sharks are involved. Sharks in general cannot swim backwards due to the way they breathe through their gills. Though there is literally just a few of them that have evolved over the years to be able to do it.
Do Fish Sleep At Night?
Fish may not sleep the same way as you or I, but they do sleep.
Fish don’t have eyelids so they can’t shut their eyes as such, but they can slow their metabolism right down and completely rest their body.
Some fish will just sit motionless in the water while sleeping. But species such as most sharks and tuna need to keep moving to stay alive due to their gill design. In these situations, experts believe they may sleep with half of their brain still switched on while the other half rests.
This way they can remain on the move and alert for danger while they sleep.
Have Fish Got A Good Memory?
As I was growing up as a kid, I was led to believe a fish only had a 3-second memory span. But is this fact really true?
The answer is no! Fish are capable of remembering things for a lot longer than that. Scientists have proved time and time again.
It seems fish are capable of remembering things for up to at least a few months. If you think about feeding your fish in your pond or aquarium, do the fish tend to get excited when they see you? In most cases they do, this is because they associate you with feeding time. The only way this would work is if they had a good memory.
Can Fish Communicate?
Communication is vital in the human world, it is also extremely important among the fish communities of the world.
Fish may not talk to each other like we do, but communication is a way of life beneath the surface of the water.
When you live in a fish eat fish world you have to alert others of danger.
This is mainly achieved by ways of body language and motions that fish associate with danger.
How Long Does A Fish Live For?
This is a bit of a hard question to answer. There are over 30,000 different species of fish worldwide that all have different life spans.
Take the Greenland shark for instance. This beast of a fish can live to over 400 years old. That is truly an amazing feat, almost unbelievable really.
But on the other hand coarse fish don’t live anywhere near that age. Fish such as carp, barbel, and pike would do well to make it to 20 years. whereas the smaller silverfish such as rudd, roach, and dace would do well to make it into their 7th or 8th year. So it really does depend on what species of fish it is to determine how long it will live for.
What Is The Biggest Fish In The World?
There are some real big fish out in the depths of our oceans, but which one is the biggest fish? Well that will be the Rhincodon typus also known to us as the awesome whale shark. These truly are giants of the deep.
These beasts can grow up to over 40 ft long and weigh a staggering 20 tonne. Though they may look all big and intimidating these gentle giants certainly won’t go out their way to harm you. Even though they have a pretty large mouth the whale shark has fairly small teeth. For this reason, they only prey on small creatures such as schools of small fish, plankton, and shrimp.
Do Fish Feel Pain?
If I’m honest I can’t really answer this one. I’ve done plenty of research into this question and there is no definitive answer.
Some experts believe that fish do feel pain but not in the way that humans do. Other people believe that they don’t feel pain at all. So I’m not entirely sure what to believe on the subject. What I do believe is that just because they can’t express their emotions doesn’t mean that the fish can’t feel the pain. But hey, I’m no scientist so I will just leave it there.
With so many species of fish on this planet, these are only a few interesting facts about fish, there are so much more to look at. As time goes on and I come across any interesting facts I shall add them to this post.
Nature really is an amazing thing and fish are no exception. With a predicted 10,000 species still to be discovered, there could be a whole lot of new fish facts just waiting to be found.