KeartesSarah Keartes is a science blogger studying marine biology and journalism in the University of Oregon. A self-proclaimed Attenborough wannabe, and all-around shark junkie, she’s focused on investigating new tools to market ocean outreach through science communicating.
Second string. Almost famous. Runner up. We’ve all been there — bowed out graciously and stuffed down the BAMF within. I’m discussing the missed, the lost, the less-than-top dogs (or in this case, fish). Such was the fate of those ten water- dwellers, left looking up at the podium of last month’s “Top Ten Weirdest Fish.
Just keep swimming my finned-friends, I’ve got you covered. They might not be the most menacing, the most toothy, or the blobbiest —but for these creatures, bizarre comes. Within their honor, it’s time for round two: the top three more bizarre in relation to the most bizarre fish in the world list.
1- Pointed sawfish
Oh, this old thing? It’s simply my blade like rostrum bearing 18-22 pairs of lateral teeth—no huge deal. This one calls to get a case of “WTF, development?” The pointed sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata), also known as the “knifetooth,” or “narrow” sawfish is one of the most unusual-looking fish on earth. The teeth on its snout will not be used for chewing, but rather as both a tracker, plus a weapon.
The power saw is covered in miniature ampullary pores, which enable the sawfish to pick up electrical fields generated by fish and other prey. Once found, that “saw” becomes impale and a longsword used to stun their targets. In fact, some species of sawfish can slash to totally sever their victim.
From the sword-wielding, to the dainty? Believe again. Seahorses are in fact fish, and so are in fact ninjas. Their genus name, Hippocampus roots from the greek word Hippos meaning Campus and “horse” meaning “sea-monster.” Okay, miniature horse- that’s, monsters simple enough—but there is nothing straightforward about them.
Like this was weird for one tiny fish, seahorses are hiding one more interesting adaptation within their prehensile monkey tails: super-strength.
Seahorse tails are made of thirty-six bony sections. Each segment is comprised of four L shaped corner plates joined by little joints. Before permanent damage occurs to the spinal column, the bones in the tail could be compressed by nearly 60 percent of their own original width. Sorry, Iron Man armor was worn by Tony Stark, seahorses before it was trendy. So hip.
Yes, I understand parrotfish was comprised by them in the initial list. But while they did highlight parrotfish mucus, they forgot a dainty morsel of parrotfish information that warrants an additional entry…
Parrotfish waste is mainly made up of tiny grains of hard coral, which adds to the substrate, and sinks to the ocean floor. They poop sand. And this is not simply any sand, but the beautiful, pristine, tropical, island- y, ermagerd -roll-in-it-white sand.
Just some food for thought for another occasion you find yourself pulling on the tiny umbrella from the drink in a tropical destination. That seashore you’re lying on? Well, everybody poops, even unusual fish.