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FactFile: YES, fish can really drown!



Fish, like people, need oxygen to live.
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Fish, like people, need oxygen to live. A fish out of water is a fish out of its element. A fish comes fully equipped with a pair of gills, which it uses to breathe under water. The gills extract life-sustaining oxygen from the hydrogen in the water molecules, in order to regulate the amount of oxygen intake. This maintains the necessary balance of the two components of water for the fish to survive.

When a fish is taken out of water, and exposed only to air, not to oxygen and hydrogen containing water, its gills are unable to control the oxygen intake, the delicate balance cannot be maintained, and the gills inhale a lethal overdose of oxygen. The fish essentially experiences death by "drowning."
  • More species of fish live in a single tributary of the Amazon River than in all the rivers in North America combined.
  • The most carnivorous of all bears is the polar bear. Its diet consists almost entirely of seals and fish.
  • The mudskipper is a fish that can actually walk on land.
  • The pair of fins at the back of a fish's body are called pelvic fins.
  • The sailfish can travel up to 68 miles per hour
  • Most fish eggs are almost yolkless, since they are laid in water where food for the unborn fish is readily available.
  • Saltwater fish, such as flounder and cod, have thicker bones than freshwater fish, such as catfish and trout.
  • Steelhead and rainbow trout are the same species, but rainbow are freshwater fish only, and steelhead are anadromous, meaning they go out to sea.
  • There are 200 species of catfish in the world.
  • There are more species of fish than mammals, reptiles and birds combined.
  • About one-third of the world's fish harvest is used to feed pets and livestock.
  • The biggest fish in the world are: the whale shark at 50,000 pounds, the basking shark at 32,000 pounds, the great white shark at 7,000 pounds, the Greenland shark at 2,250 pounds, and the tiger shark at 2,070 pounds.

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