Posted on September 28, 2013
I was researching the day's holidays, and I noticed that today is National Hunting and Fishing Day for people who love to (now, see if you can follow this logic) hunt and/or fish...and today is Fish Amnesty Day for people who don't like the idea of fishing, or, indeed, any hobby that inflicts pain and death. (“But they're just fish!” most people say.) Today is even a copyrighted holiday called Fish Tank Floorshow Night. The creators of the day say that fish are always in the spotlight, having to entertain us – so tonight we should put on a song-and-dance routine for them.
Basically, today is a very fishy day. So let's talk about fish...
|This is a photo of a goldfish responding to|
the news that there is no such thing as a fish!
First...and this is weird for me, too: There is no such thing as a fish!
The word “fish” is useful in everyday life and for cooking, but biologically speaking, there is no good definition for “fish,” and no reason to consider fish a group of creatures. Modern biologists point out that some “fish” are more closely related to tetrapods such as lizards, whales, eagles, and us, than they are to other “fish.” According to the science of classification, which is called cladistics, that means that we cannot group fish together.
To learn more about cladistics, check out this Kid's Science (Cladistics) Pinterest board.
Second...some creatures that have “fish” in their name aren't evenly remotely fish (if there were such a thing as fish). Can you think of any? Check your answers against the 8 answers here.
Third...there are some fishy creatures that are so large, they're called “megafishes.” Check them out here.
Fourth...here are some of my favorite fishy books:
- A Fish Out of Water, by Helen Palmer
- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, by Dr. Seuss
- Pattern Fish, by Trudy Harris
- Your Inner Fish, by Neil Shubin (older kids and adults for this one!)
Fifth...You probably know that many fishy creatures swim together in groups called “schools.” They do this because there is more safety in numbers than in swimming alone – and it's a real fish-eat-fish world. Check out these beautiful photos of schools of fish. If you've ever wondered what it's like to swim into a giant school of fish, watch this video!
Sixth...Some of the most beautiful and ugliest creatures are fish. Check out these 10 extraordinary fish.
Last, and quite possibly least...Be sure to play Go Fish today!
Also on this date:
Check out my Pinterest pages on September holidays, September birthdays, and historical anniversaries in September.
And here are my Pinterest pages on October holidays, October birthdays, and historical anniversaries in October.