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Do Fish Sleep?

Do Fish Sleep? Fascinating Answers to Questions about Fishes

Judith S. Weis

Publication Year: 2011

From the fifty-one-foot whale shark Rhincodon typus to a less-than-one-half-inch fish in the minnow family--the tiny Paedocypris progenetica--fish certainly carry a lot of weight . . . or do they?

A fish's heft in water may vary, but these diverse aquatic animals certainly carry a lot of weight in our ecosystems and environment. From freshwater to ocean habitats, Judith S. Weis offers a fascinating look at these deceptively simple creatures. Fishes may appear to live a dull existence, but appearances change once we understand more about how they survive. These wonders actually possess attributes that would make us superpowers--they can change color, sex, produce light and electricity, regenerate injured fins, prevent themselves from sinking, and some can even walk on land.

Do Fish Sleep? is organized in an easy-to-read and accessible question-and-answer format, filled with more than 55 photographs and over 100 interesting facts from fish biology basics to the importance of preserving and restoring fish diversity and healthy populations. A captivating read for fish enthusiasts of all ages--naturalists, environmentalists, aquarists, scuba divers, and students--this is also the perfect primer for those just about to get their feet wet. Dive in!

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Do Fish Sleep?

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Frontmatter, Copyright

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pp. v-x

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

I have been studying fishes most of my professional life, starting from when I was an undergraduate student. I find them fascinating to study and just love to watch them. Other people who are not biologists also seem to be interested in fishes for many reasons: they like to go fishing, look at fishes in aquariums or...

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One: Fish Basics

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pp. 1-11

Question 1: What is a fish?
Answer: Fishes are the most ancient and diverse groups of vertebrates in the world, found in fresh water and in the seas off the coast of every continent on earth. They play a vital role in aquatic habitats and the survival of many other species...

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Two: Where Fishes Live

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pp. 12-24

Question 1: Where are fishes found?
Answer: Almost any body of water—fresh, salty, cold, hot (to a point), clean, polluted—can support fish life. Surprisingly, although fresh waters comprise only a tiny proportion of the available water on the earth (0.01 percent), they contain 41 percent...

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Three: Fish Bodies

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pp. 25-48

Question 1: How do fishes swim?
Answer: The study of fish swimming encompasses many aspects of biology: biomechanics, physiology, ecology, and behavior. The yellow perch, Perca flavescens, is a common game fish that travels in schools and generally prefers shallow waters near the lakeshore. It swims like typical fi shes—its spine curves from side...

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Four: Fish Lives

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pp. 49-73

Question 1: What and how do fishes eat?
Answer: Eating is one of the most important activities for a fish. Smaller fish eat proportionately more than larger individuals because their metabolism is faster. Different fish species have very different kinds of diets—some have narrow food preferences...

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Five: Fish Reproduction

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pp. 74-92

Question 1: How do fishes mate?
Answer: One of the most striking things about fish reproduction is the sheer number of offspring fish are capable of producing. During its reproductive life, a single female of some species can produce millions of eggs. If all of them were to survive...

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Six: Dangers and Defenses

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pp. 93-112

Question 1: What diseases are common among fishes?
Answer: Fish, like humans, are subject to all sorts of diseases. But since there are thousands of different species of fishes, they have many more diseases, most of which we know nothing about since they haven’t been studied. Fish disease is particularly important to aquarium hobbyists and to aquaculture operations...

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Seven: Watching Fishes

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pp. 113-123

Question 1: How popular is fish keeping as a hobby?
Answer: People like to watch fish. The popularity of fish screen-savers attests to that. Fish keeping has a long history, going back over two thousand years. Depictions of fishes kept in temple pools have been found in ancient Egyptian art. Many...

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Eight: Recreational Fishing

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pp. 124-133

Question 1: What is recreational fishing?
Answer: Recreational fishing, or sport fishing, is fishing for pleasure or competition, as contrasted with commercial fishing (fishing for profit), or subsistence fishing (fishing for survival). The most common form of recreational fishing is with a rod and reel, but fi shes can also be caught with minnow traps and...

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Nine: Commercial Fishing

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pp. 134-157

Question 1: How does commercial fishing differ from recreational fishing?
Answer: Commercial fishing is the activity of capturing seafood for commercial profit. Commercial fi hermen harvest a wide variety of animals, including finfishes like tuna, cod, and salmon, but also invertebrates like shrimp, lobsters, clams, and crabs. Large-scale commercial fishing is also called industrial...

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TEN Fish andHuman Health

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pp. 158-167

Question 1: Can eating fish improve your health?
Answer: Eating fishes can be healthy, which is one reason that so many fishes are being caught. Americans eat twice as much seafood as they did twenty years ago. Besides containing protein and nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium, fish contain omega-3 fatty acids that may reduce the risk of developing...

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Eleven: Research and Conservation

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pp. 168-182

Question 1: Why do people study fishes?
Answer: It is likely that the earliest ichthyologists were people who had learned how, where, and when to obtain the most useful fish. But beyond that practical knowledge, fishes are so varied and do many interesting things that scientists want to learn about. Fishes are excellent subjects for studying physiology, anatomy, behavior, development, ecology, and evolution. I...

Appendix: Public Aquariain the United States

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pp. 183-188


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pp. 189-200


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pp. 201-217

About the Author

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E-ISBN-13: 9780813551098
E-ISBN-10: 0813551099
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813549415

Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 59 illustrations. 30 color and 29 black and white photographs
Publication Year: 2011