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What happened to Rufus?

Until recently, Rosemead, CA was home to one of the last great tiki restaurants, Bahooka. Bahooka's star resident was Rufus, a 37-year old Pacu, who graced the entrance area. Rufus loved carrots. He appeared in several movies, including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Bahooka closed in early 2013. Sadly, despite fan efforts to save and relocate Rufus, his whereabouts are now a mystery, and as the site's new owners are not communicating, fears have grown that Rufus was simply thrown away.
posted by anazgnos on May 22, 2014 - 23 comments

Fished Out

The world's fish are in danger—as is everyone who depends on them (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 23, 2014 - 52 comments

Only coincidentally posted on International Women's Day

It turns out that fish may need bicycles after all. Or, more accurately, fish need more bicyclists, and fewer motorists. "Water pollution attributable to automobiles includes oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, [copper], etc." (via rootsimple.com) See also
posted by ivan ivanych samovar on Mar 8, 2014 - 4 comments

But you should see the size of the ones that got away

"Adjusting for time of year, and after checking and measuring 1,275 different trophy fish, she found that in the 1950s, the biggest fish in the photos were typically over 6 feet — sometimes 6 feet 5 inches long. By the time we get to 2007, when Loren bought a ticket on a deep sea day cruise and snapped this picture ...... the biggest fish were averaging only a foot, or maybe a little over. That's a staggering change. The biggest fish on display in 2007 was a shark, and sharks, Loren calculated, are now half the size they used to be in the '50s. As to weight, she figured the average prizewinner dropped from nearly 43.8 pounds to a measly 5 pounds — an 88 percent drop. Radiolab reports on how the average trophy fish caught at Florida's Key West has shrunk considerably since the fifties." [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 3, 2014 - 32 comments

Fish are stupid

Evolution and adaptive significance of low intelligence in fish
posted by dangerousdan on Feb 13, 2014 - 50 comments

How To Drive A Tank

Fish on Wheels, a short video in which a goldfish drives around the room.
posted by zamboni on Feb 11, 2014 - 20 comments

Sorry, Doctor, No Custard

So, you have a Creative Agency with the whimsical (or just silly) name "Fishfinger", and you've done work for notable clients like Nike, RedBull, Penguin Books and Hasbro, but you want your agency and your name to go viral. What do you do? You photoshop a bunch of classic movie posters to make 62 Amazing Fishy Films. Yes, The Codfather, Forrest Guppy and the James Bond movie with its namesake are there. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Jan 30, 2014 - 29 comments

Swim, Swim, Slash

Sailfish and the Dredge; a prey's eye view of what it's like to be chased and hunted by a sailfish. [more inside]
posted by quin on Jan 15, 2014 - 13 comments

Fish leaps to catch birds on the wing

...a fish grabs one of the famously speedy birds straight out of the air.
posted by Confess, Fletch on Jan 12, 2014 - 33 comments

Naturalis Historia

"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."
Naturalis Historia was written by Pliny the Elder between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger.
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 16, 2013 - 24 comments

What it says on the tin.

Celebrities naked with fish. Photography done for the Fishlove campaign which raises awareness about the destruction of the seas and the unsustainable practices that lead to over fishing. Founded by the restaurant, Moshimo and the actresss, Greta Saatchi it gathers celebrity, professional photography and fish to ask the question, "Are you a fish lover?" [more inside]
posted by jadepearl on Dec 6, 2013 - 47 comments

Fish Portraits

Visarute Angkatavanich takes beautiful portraits of fish. [more inside]
posted by Fig on Nov 17, 2013 - 11 comments

Terror from the Deep

CreatureCast - Rhizocephala - a charmingly animated look at the lifecycle of rhizocephalan barnacles, one of the more horrifying (non-charming) parasitic crustaceans (likewise). NOT a practitioner of parasitic castration but still disturbing: The bobbit worm. Happy swimming!
posted by Artw on Oct 26, 2013 - 21 comments

You old fishface you

This 419-Million-Year-Old Fish Has the World’s Oldest Known Face What makes it remarkable is everything that’s come after it: It’s the oldest known creature with a face, and may have given rise to virtually all the faces that have followed in the hundreds of millions of years since, including our own.
posted by maggieb on Oct 24, 2013 - 32 comments

Primordial Complete Jaw

"The majority of fossil discoveries worth publishing about can either strengthen previous studies or dish out little parcels of new data. These allow us to slowly piece together the history of life on Earth, but do not significantly rock the boat. But every now and then you are confronted with a jaw-dropping specimen, a fossil that says, “forget the textbooks, THIS is how it happened…” Momentous discoveries like Lucy the Australopithecus and the first batch of Chinese feathered dinosaurs that unleashed a tsunami of new information, bringing sudden clarity to our view of the distant past, and forcing us to rethink what we thought we knew about evolution. Now joining their ranks is a little armoured fish called Entelognathus, described in Nature by an international team of researchers led by Prof. Zhu Min at IVPP, Beijing." [more inside]
posted by Akhu on Sep 26, 2013 - 12 comments

Earning the Title "World's Ugliest Animal"

The Ugly Animal Preservation Society has named the blobfish world's ugliest animal & society mascot.
posted by rcraniac on Sep 12, 2013 - 40 comments

Deep Sea Mystery Circle – a love story

"Video footage of the little artist at work recently surfaced. It was uploaded to YouTube by MarineStation Amami, a hotel and dive center that assisted Yoji Okata and NHK in producing the video segment that aired last year. Of note, watch at around 1:20 when the fish takes a small shell in his mouth and plants it in the sculpture. Scientists believe that the shells are filled with vital nutrients and this is the soon-to-be-father’s way of preparing nourishment for the babies." UPDATE [Aug 26, 2013] [more inside]
posted by jammy on Aug 26, 2013 - 4 comments

Headline words sure to attract your attention: "testical-biting"

The presence of the Pacu, a Piranha like fish, has resulted in a warning to people, specifically men, swimming in the Danish/Swedish strait of Oresund. [more inside]
posted by HuronBob on Aug 13, 2013 - 53 comments

"So a sardine is not a sardine is not a sardine!"

The Sardine Museum with host Tony Nunziata (part two, part three, part four, part five). Bonus: Tony tells a short story. [more inside]
posted by Ice Cream Socialist on Jul 23, 2013 - 8 comments

"an early 1960s self-portrait as a pitchman"

The Fine Art of Resilience: Lessons from Stanley Meltzoff [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 3, 2013 - 1 comment

Fuck Yeah Coelacanths!

Fuck Yeah Coelacanths! "It's a Tumblr about coelacanths. For all your coelacanth needs." [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by stet on Jun 19, 2013 - 32 comments

Basically, treat it like you just caught a zombie.

New York City officials are asking visitors to Central Park's Harlem Meer to beware of the northern snakehead fish, a predator common in the rivers and lakes of Asia but considered an invasive species in American waters, which had been spotted. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 3, 2013 - 45 comments

More amusing than it has any right to be.

Deep-Sea Fauna with Googly Eyes. [via] [more inside]
posted by quin on Apr 12, 2013 - 10 comments

"Sarcastic Fringehead?" Really?

Amazing territorial behavior by a fish bearing the rather odd name of "Sarcastic Fringehead," from the David Attenborough's BBC Life series via WTF, Evolution?
posted by Scientist on Mar 11, 2013 - 46 comments

It's like a rainbow of ugly.

Here we will learn true facts about the angler fish. [more inside]
posted by heyho on Jan 1, 2013 - 26 comments

Noodling for pigeons

Some catfish have learnt a new trick [original paper] since being introduced to a French river around 30 years ago: they can beach themselves to hunt pigeons along the river bank. These catfish were around 90-150 cm (about three to five feet) long, but there are many species, some of which can be much larger. But you're probably safe from these. [previously]
posted by Joe in Australia on Dec 6, 2012 - 35 comments

"A clam for supper? a cold clam; is that what you mean, Mrs. Hussey?

"New Englanders learn quickly to dismiss the chowder where tomato ruins its gorgeous broth, where references to New York tarnish its name...However, few know how such distinctions came about in the first place, what processes were involved that resulted in one person's disgust of another's beloved creation, and why, to this day, do we stand by such convictions?" The New England Chowder Compendium, from the McIntosh Cookery Collection at the UMass Amherst library. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Dec 4, 2012 - 92 comments

The clean, fresh air of Scandinavia

The BBC explore the olfactory delights of rakfisk, "trout sprinkled with salt and fermented in water for up to a year." But is it as smelly as Surströmming, fermented Baltic Herring from neighboring Sweden, or as extreme as the Icelandic Hákarl, basking shark buried in a hole and fermented for several months and tasting "similar to very strong cheese slathered in ammonia"? [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 2, 2012 - 52 comments

Unexpected Cuteness

Dancing Stingrays (SLWimp) (wait for it to hit you...)
posted by pjern on Nov 11, 2012 - 13 comments

Mega Shark vs Giant British Spider

Ecologists breed and release swarms of giant fish-eating spiders into the waterways of Britain. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Oct 4, 2012 - 80 comments

Crop circles in the sand

The puffer fish mating dance.
posted by rhapsodie on Sep 30, 2012 - 14 comments

Something fishy with the math

Why did one newspaper, in a story copied by several other UK newspapers, somewhat underestimate the number of adult cod in the North Sea by a factor of...
posted by Wordshore on Sep 29, 2012 - 66 comments

The Peaceable Kingdom

Marc Morrone is a pet shop owner from the Bronx who spun a small cable-access show about pet care into a Martha Stewart Omnimedia-backed pet-advice career. But he first became known for his call-in show in which he gave advice while surrounded by a menagerie of moving, falling, pooping animals.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 27, 2012 - 20 comments

Do you eat Sushi?

Fish Filleting: A short Youtube series of demonstrations by fish mongers with sharp knives [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Sep 27, 2012 - 23 comments

She has no strings, Apollo...

Scuba diving... with wheelchair. slyt
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on Sep 17, 2012 - 10 comments

classifying the ocean bottom

The makers of Galaxy Zoo are not satisfied with classifying the cold depths of space. They also want to classify the slightly less cold depths of the ocean, with Seafloor Explorer, where anyone and everyone can help find and identify scallops, sea stars, crustaceans, and Other on various parts of the Atlantic ocean floor. Rarely there are fish. Often, there is sand. It seems to go on forever and often is full of starfish. [more inside]
posted by cmyk on Sep 14, 2012 - 14 comments

smart bird

"Tool use in animals is rare, and bespeaks a level of intelligence that most of us are unaccustomed to associating with non-humans. That's what makes this video of a Green Heron using bread to lure fish to their doom so remarkable. One would be hard pressed to argue that this bird is not thinking critically about the technique it is employing to catch its prey. Not only is it demonstrating logic and reason in its capacity to understand that a piece of bread can be used as bait, it's also passing up the chance to eat the bread in favor of a better meal, actively weighing cost and benefit, pitting immediate gratification against delayed satisfaction. It's a stunning display of animal intelligence."
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 27, 2012 - 68 comments

We will decide who comes to fish here, and the circumstances under which they fish

A new, controversial super-trawler, the Dutch-owned FV Margiris, has set sail for Tasmania, off the south-east coast of Australia, to take a haul of jack mackerel and redbait, prompting concerns it is going to decimate several Australian fish stocks as factory fishing has done elsewhere in the world. Greenpeace claims the industrial super-trawler is part of the European Association of pelagic freezer trawlers (PFA), responsible for "some of the worst fishing excesses on the planet.'' It is scheduled to be roaming between the Tasman Sea and Western Australia this spring. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Aug 12, 2012 - 55 comments

Come for the raining fish, stay for the funeral beer

Isle of Spagg... On the other side of the Vertic Sea where things are distinctly fishier, lives the proud fisherman Inger and his half-mermaid (but not the half you'd expect) daughter Herring. When the least respected old character on the island dies, conflict ensues and a favorite garment is ruined. Meanwhile two haberdashers with a checkered past deal with their own loss. Can Dr. Beez or one of the Oracles help? Can the Isle's 15 minstrels make music to make things better? And what about little Claude? It all happens in a 30 minute cartoon from the Brothers McLeod, Greg and Myles, who have also animated (scroll down for video clips) Fuggy Fuggy for MTV, Pablo and Frankensheep and Quiff and Boot for the BBC, Billy for the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Existential Pleading of the Inner Heart for anybody who wants it and other very random stuff.
posted by oneswellfoop on Jun 17, 2012 - 4 comments

Red Snappers Are Red Rated

As of today, Whole Foods will no longer sell red rated fish, and will sell only sustainable species. Some fishermen are fuming. “It’s totally maddening,” Mr. Sanfilippo said. “They’re just doing it to make all the green people happy.”
posted by Xurando on Apr 22, 2012 - 118 comments

Smelling the... Zephyrs?

This last Monday millions of Egyptians, both Copt and Muslim, celebrated Sham el-Nessim (literally, "Smelling of the Zephyrs"), a holiday which falls on the Monday after Eastern Orthodox Easter. It supposedly dates back to Pharaonic times, when fish were offered to the Egyptian gods. Today, instead of offering it to the gods, Egyptians eat it, specifically a very specially fermented and salted concoction called feseekh ( فسيخ‎). [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on Apr 17, 2012 - 30 comments

Soothing, captivating, fascinating. Underwater live cams.

Fishbowl, live cam at the Blue Cavern, Aquarium of the Pacific. Live cams at explore.org: Moon jellyfish | tropical reef live cam. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Apr 14, 2012 - 8 comments

Jiro Ono, sushi master

What animates a sushi master? What drives someone to be so focused, to be a god of small things?
posted by Trurl on Mar 20, 2012 - 62 comments

"What I want for dinner is a bass fished in Lake Huron in 1920" -William Burroughs

Classic seafood and fish recipes, from a time when it was cheap and plentiful, and often cured in salt.
posted by Brian B. on Mar 19, 2012 - 26 comments

Fish protection finally

"Probably the most important conservation statute ever enacted into America’s fisheries law".. as of 2012, all 528 federally managed fish species now have imposed catch limits. The US is arguably the first country in the world to do it. This means every species has a hard limit of how many fish can be taken - not just how many per-boat or angler - an absolute cap on the total number (actually by weight). The law was enacted in 2006 under a policy forged under President George W. Bush and finalized with President Obama's backing.(previously)
posted by stbalbach on Jan 9, 2012 - 51 comments

I didn't evolve from no flounder.

People And The Fish They Look Like
posted by empath on Dec 11, 2011 - 25 comments

Scaling the Heights

Aquaculturalist creates observation tower for fish. Fish enjoy the view. SLYT Who knew that fish liked to get high? [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet on Oct 24, 2011 - 52 comments

Yes! We Have No Sustainable Fisheries!

The EU is to (finally) reform the Common Fisheries Policy [NYT] (BBC Q&A). As fishsubsidy.org note, the industry is currently subsidised by over €1bn a year, and the new policy fails to allow for a large change in fleet size. If you're looking for ways to help on a personal level, mefi's own Zarkonnen has produced a guide to what seafood is safe to ethically eat that I've found useful. [via mefi projects]
posted by jaduncan on Jul 30, 2011 - 27 comments

No rod and reel needed

Carp Attack! SLYT, 1.13.
posted by bwg on Jul 14, 2011 - 39 comments

Took a fish wheel out to see a movie / Didn't have to pay to get it in

Right around 1879, the fishwheel (historical images, McCord replica) came to the Columbia River. A clever application of mill-like thinking to traditional net fishing techniques, the fishwheel's river-powered automation of upstream harvesting revolutionized canning in Oregon and Washington, drawing both commercial attention and critical concern [NYT 1881, PDF]. Two men, Thornton Williams and William Rankin McCord, each filed patents for fishwheel designs in 1881 (#245251) and 1882 (#257960) respectively; Williams brought an infringement suit against McCord which was dismissed on the grounds that the invention was not new, being based directly on the publicly documented work of one Samuel Wilson in 1879. Fishwheels were fair game. [more inside]
posted by cortex on Jun 28, 2011 - 15 comments

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