The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-08-2003, 01:13 AM
1000monkeys 1000monkeys is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
How big do groupers (the fish) get? and...

are they common in the Mediteranean, now or in Biblical times?

and has anyone heard that Jonah may have actually been eaten by a grouper, not a whale? If so, how would you know?


thanks
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 02-08-2003, 09:19 AM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
I saw one at the Boston Aquarium that was about 5 feet long, and I doubt I would have been able to put my arms around it had I been so inclined. And it had these big lips. I labeled it in my head the "Edward G. Robinson Fish".

But I doubt it could eat anyone.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-08-2003, 09:30 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
Domo Arigato Mister Moderato
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: On the run with Kilroy
Posts: 16,396
I remember hearing the Jonah thing.

Some Nova or National G program or some such. The people involved had measured whale throats and such and concluded that only a grouper (a large one) would have a throat large enough to handle a grown man's shoulders.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-08-2003, 09:34 AM
CrankyAsAnOldMan CrankyAsAnOldMan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
I read in some reputable source that groupers can get big enough to but their mouth around divers and "swallow" them head to waist. Then they spit them out unharmed. Like it's some sort of game. Heh.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-08-2003, 09:56 AM
astro astro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Goliath Grouper


Quote:
These are super-groupers here! I saw one at Mote Marine's Aquarium that was as big as a Volkswagen bug. Illegal to boat or land these huge 500 lb.+ fish. Groupers are almost always found at the bottom of Gulf, near structure and food. Big fish need big habitats! These fish live to be very old and are the largest of the Grouper family.
Quote:
This goliath grouper is the largest grouper in the western Atlantic. Growing to lengths of 8.2 feet (2.5 m), this grouper can weigh as much as 800 pounds (363 kg). In Florida, the largest hook and line captured specimen weighed 680 pounds (309 kg).

Goliath Grouper 2


Record Warsaw Grouper -265 lbs


Big fish get a giant name - The group responsible for naming fish changes the common name of Florida's largest grouper from its objectionable ''jewfish.''
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-08-2003, 11:37 AM
1000monkeys 1000monkeys is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
thanks great links, I noticed this:

quote:

Danger to Humans

Very large goliath grouper have been observed to stalk divers and even conduct unsuccessful ambushes of the same. Large individuals of this species should be treated with caution.

but in regards to the jonah thing their range seems to be the americas, and some of western africa, but certainly not the med. or red seas.

any thoughts of this? i am the furthest thing from a biblical scholar, ut wasn't Jonah lost at sea? do you think the bible is suggesting jonah discovered america? (insert winking smiley here-i cant figure out how to do them in replys)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-08-2003, 11:57 AM
Davebear Davebear is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Well, they certainly don't exist in the polluted Mediterranean of today. It's possible groupers, or something similar, existed in the Med in biblical times. But, the whole concept is absurd.

Fish have very strong digestive acids, which are needed because most of them, including groupers and their relatives, swallow their prey whole. The strong acids are necessary to quickly kill and digest a live, whole fish. Not a healthy environment in which to spend an extended period of time. Not to mention the complete lack of air.

As long as we're dancing around fantasy land, why not consider that Jonah was captured and held in the world's first submarine? Maybe even a UFO? At least those might provide a survivable environment.

BTW, to add "smilies" to a reply, you just type in the characters that make them up, such as semi-colon right parenthese for a wink. Also, if you preview your reply, it will give you the opportunity to add them before submitting (it always puts them at the end of your text, but you can cut-and-paste them wherever you want).
__________________
Sound the alarm! Alert the media! Davebear is at it, again!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-08-2003, 12:26 PM
minty green minty green is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
I'm not touching the Jonah story, which is absurd on its face. But here (inside the "My Photos" folder) is a fairly decent picture I took a while back of a black grouper next to a diver in Roatan, Honduras. The diver is a little bit behind the grouper, but not much--his fin is just about even with the fish. Black groupers max out at around 4 ft., and I'd say this one is right there. As noted above, the Goliath grouper/jewfish gets to be a monster, reaching a maximum of 8ft, but is rarely seen that large thanks to overfishing.

Groupers are great. In protected waters where they're used to divers, they'll just follow you around like puppies.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.