A Walk on the Drier Side of Life

Fish breathe and swim in water. Everybody but the lungfish knows this. To the naked eye, the lungfish is like any ordinary fish until it takes a big gulp of air and “walks” instead of swims. With six species in Africa, Australia, and South America, the lungfish can grow to seven feet and weigh twenty-two... Continue Reading →

Like a Fish Out of Water

“Like a fish out of water,” a saying meant to describe someone in a situation or position they are not comfortable in, highlights how fish are not comfortable on the land. But not all fish are “like a fish out of water” when they are on land, as is seen in season one, episode six... Continue Reading →

In the pilot of Blue Planet II, we are introduced to the dramatic scenery of Northern Japan, where life teems beneath the surface. Out of a patch of flora emerges the rather odd looking male Kobudai, a one meter long fish weighing around 15 kilos. His bulbous head and protruding chin give a sort of... Continue Reading →

The Masters of Sex-Change

In Blue Planet II, Episode 1: One Ocean, we are introduced to the Kobudai fish, an example of the sexual fluidity of fish. After 10 years, a large female Kobudai fish undergoes a several month-long transformation into a large, bulbous and aggressive male. These are known as sequential hermaphrodites, and in the Kobudai fish case,... Continue Reading →

Illuminating the Evolutionary Past of Bioluminescent Fish  

In David Attenborough’s documentary episode “Life that Glows”, several different organisms that utilize bioluminescence are featured, and these organisms use bioluminescence to improve fitness in terms of attracting mates or prey. Splitfin flashlightfish (Anomalops katoptron) are a nocturnal deep-sea fish specifically discussed in this documentary. These fish use torch-like organs under their eyes to identify... Continue Reading →

The Vivacious Relic of the Seas

For a long time, scientists only knew Coelacanth from fossils, assuming that they went extinct over 60 million years ago. However, in 1938, a live Coelacanth was captured near South Africa, as described in Coelacanth, one of Sir David Attenborough’s first documentaries. Scientists were astounded by this discovery because it was a novel clue as to... Continue Reading →

The Light Show of the Deep Sea

At the deepest depths of the ocean, where sunlight can no longer penetrate, there is a complex ecosystem of organisms functioning in complete darkness. The creatures of the deep sea have evolved impressive ways of dealing with the darkness that engulfs them, and one method in particular, bioluminescence, is present at remarkably high frequencies. This... Continue Reading →

Hunting With the Sixth Sense

While on the hunt, a supreme awareness of the surroundings can pay off large dividends for an individual. One species that takes advantage of their surroundings is the shark. In Life, a shark quickly reacts to the movements of a school of anchovies by sensing the electrical signals given off by their collective movement, giving... Continue Reading →

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