Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cat(fish) Pics of the Day

After our boat ride on Lake Anna - more on that later - Marc and I fed the catfish near his aunt and uncle's boathouse. Do catfish really like bread?

This is from eHow.com:
  1. Catfish have a diet that includes other fish, aquatic bugs, crayfish, mollusks, fish eggs, aquatic plants, minnows, snails, decaying vegetation, carrion, worms and leeches. The majority of catfish do most of their feeding at night, staying close to the bottom and using their "whiskers" to feel for food. Their sense of smell is excellent and aids them in finding a meal.

Hmm . . . no mention of bread, but clearly, it is something that catfish consume.

My hope was that a catfish would leap out of the water and take a piece of bread from my hand. Marc told me that A) That would never happen and B) Catfish sting. Catfish sting? I don't believe it! Well, the same eHow link from above states that while the whiskers of a catfish don't sting, the spines on their dorsal and pectoral fins can pierce flesh. Ouch! Another site about catfish corroborates the story:

We've heard the myth that the "whiskers" will sting you. Nonsense. Those whiskers are soft tissue. What will sting you are the stiff pectoral barbs just below the gills, and the powerful erictile spine of the dorsal. Smaller Catfish (squealers) are more capable of inflicting injuries with these weapons than larger Catfish as they thrash around much more erratically when brought from the water. While these barbs do contain small amounts of toxin, one might compare a puncture similar to a bee sting.

Oh Google, where in the world would I be without you?!

Anyway, I had great fun feeding bread to catfish, despite no catfish jumping up to accept my offering. Just look at this feeding frenzy! Catfish may eat insects and other fish, but bread is certainly on the menu.

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