Fearsome Fish

Gavin Pitts returns to discuss the Goonch catfish, needlefish, sailfish, swordfish, moray eel, pacu, barracuda, anglerfish, snakehead, stingrays and the not-so-dreaded candiru!

Music: “Three Little Fishies” by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra




8 Responses

  1. Having grown up in Alice Springs in the centre of Australia, I’ve always been very wary of the sea – now I’m not going near the thing! So many ways to get so horribly hurt! Thanks for the warnings. 🙂

    Thought I’d share a couple of things I’ve come across over the years. First of all, back in the history the English Court would have to only eat fish during Lent (the 6 weeks prior to Easter), and, because they felt like it, they decided to eat beavers, given that they did, technically, swim around and appear to live in the water. I think it was the English Court who did this, but I’m not sure.

    Secondly, on the day Steve Irwin died, Australia happened to lose two other notable public figures: Peter Brock was a very famous V8 driver who crashed and died, and the author Colin Thiele, who is possibly most famous for his story Storm Boy (and also Blue Fin), died that day too, which I thought was worth simply mentioning, as the coverage of their deaths always seems to be lost in the coverage of Steve Irwin’s, notable though it was.

    Also, and I don’t know if I added a comment regarding this on the Whales episode, and if I didn’t I should have, I can recommend enough the cartoon Beached Az, which consists of twenty odd 60 second episodes about a beached whale talking to various creatures that come across it on the beach, all speaking in ridiculously bad Kiwi accents (Toren’s Aussie accent this week was excellent, btw, very convincing). In this video he sings a little song to a stingray he finds: https://youtu.be/JdcKj18cFdc — it’s worth watching all of them, and it won’t take you long. Gavin, can you vouch for them? My kids absolutely love them.

    Great, scary episode, guys!

    PS Have you considered a show on introduced species? There might be some caustic material there…

  2. I don’t know if Gavin will be reading these comments, but I was wondering if any animals are BOTH venomous and poisonous, or if they are generally one or the other.

  3. I normally love your podcast and the level of research but I have to say I was a little disappointed with this episode. Firstly, and most pedantic, Gavin cannot correctly pronounce ‘Osteichthyes’, though fortunately the word was only uttered a couple of times. It really made me cringe.

    Secondly you said that you were focusing on Osteichthyes, leaving cartilaginous fish (called Chondrichthyes) to another episode. Yet you then spoke at length about stingrays despite stingrays, indeed all rays, being Chondrichthyes.

    Finally you implied that all anglerfish have the parasitic reproductive method yet it is mostly confined to the family Ceratidae. Most anglerfish families have free-living males although within the deep-sea species there is generally extreme sexual dimorphism, with the males being significantly smaller than the females.

    1. I wondered about the rays too, but didn’t mind as I found the content interesting (and I know bugger all about this stuff). Glad I wasn’t the only one. I’ve stopped wondering about pronunciation though, as I’ve started assuming it’s done for comedic effect at least half the time.

      Can you forgive them? 😉

    2. Gavin couldn’t read the research document I made (because of technology), so he probably didn’t know I was going to bring up stingrays later in the episode, and additionally because I probably forgot to mention it. I have nothing to add about pronunciation except that ‘debris’ has a hard ‘s’ sound at the end.