The Amazing World of Fish
Did you know that there are about 32,000 different kinds of fish in the world today? That’s a lot of fish! In today’s world, people rely a lot on fish. Both freshwater and salt water fish are eaten by humans all over the world and have been for thousands of years. Scientists believe that the oldest fishhook ever found dates back to approximately 42,000 years ago. Not only do people eat fish, but parts of fish are found in some household products like lipstick. Many families even love keeping fish as pets. Fish are used for a lot of things, so they must be pretty important!
Fun Fish Facts
Fish are vertebrates, which means they have a backbone. But unlike most animals, fish don’t breathe with lungs. They take in oxygen from the water through their gills. Fish, like reptiles and amphibians, are cold-blooded. This means that they can’t control their body temperature. Most fish lay eggs to hatch into baby fish, but some fish, like the Great White Shark, give birth to live babies. Fish do not have vocal cords like people do, instead they have to communicate with each other through various noises that they can make with their body, such as rattling their bones, hissing, whistling, gnashing their teeth, and grunting.
Fish can do a lot of pretty impressive things. Fish jaws are not attached to the skull, so many fishes can shoot their mouths forward away from their faces to catch food or insects. Instead of tasting with their tongues, fish have taste buds all over their body to taste what’s around them. Sharks are the only species of fish that have eyelids, but they don’t need to blink because the water cleans their eyes. The fastest fish in the world is the sailfish. In fact, a sailfish can swim as fast as a car traveling on a highway. The slowest fish in the world is a seahorse. It moves so slow that when you watch one, you can hardly tell it’s moving.
Fish are pretty cool in general, but there are some impressive and unusual fish in the world. Below is a countdown of some of the world’s most bizarre fish and the things that make them so special.
- The Fangtooth Fish can only grow to be a few inches long, but it has teeth roughly the same size as human’s. No wonder it got the name “Fangtooth”!
- The Mudskipper can spend most of its life out of water by walking on its fins. It can accomplish this by carrying a water supply and breathing through the pores of its skin.
- Catfish have over 27,000 taste buds whereas most people only have around 7,000.
- Seahorses can camouflage themselves to match the color of their surroundings. They can also move their eyes to look in two different directions at the same time. They are the only type of fish that swims upright.
- The Giant Whale Shark is the largest fish on earth. They can grow to be up to 60 feet long, that’s the length of two school buses! The Giant Whale Shark weighs over 25 tons and its diet consists of mostly tiny plankton. They have over 4,000 teeth, but their teeth are only 3mm long.
- The smallest types of fish are the freshwater Pygmy and Luzon gobies and the saltwater Marshal Islands goby that live in East Asia. They can only get as big as half an inch, about as large as a grain of rice.
- Lungfish can survive out of the water for several years. It surrounds itself in its own mucus and burrows deep under ground. The Lungfish gets air through its lung that has a built-in breathing tube that leads up to the surface. The Lungfish has a lung and gills.
- Electric eels and electric rays contain enough electricity in their bodies to kill a horse.
- Flying fish normally can glide 160 feet over the length of the ocean, but some have been known to launch themselves as far as 660 feet and can attain heights of up to 19 feet in the air.
- Last but not least, the Hagfish. Hagfish are some of the slimiest creatures in the world. The Atlantic Hagfish makes enough slime in one minute to fill an entire bucket. The amount of slime that Hagfish produce make them virtually inedible. Gross!
Scientists have only explored 1% of the ocean depths and many believe that there are millions more fish that have never been found. Imagine how many more spectacular fish have yet to be discovered!