I am a new to Straight Dope, but would like some closure on a topic: Sleeping Fish. Do fish sleep?
Generally, they are found sleeping over in GQ. If they are not sleeping there, you may be able to find out why.
If that answer sounds cryptic, wait for additional replies, all will be clear soon.
Hmmm, a question for Polycarp?
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
JT, I have the answer to this in a reference book at home, but I don’t recollect what it is. If you don’t get any other nibbles, and if I’ll respond tonight, just for the halibut.
CK, you’re just gonna let this guy flounder? His curiosity most be off the scales if he’s fishing around in this forum for an answer. It’s a Bassic question and somebody must be able to provide a line or two in response.
Okay, I’m FINished.
Holy mackerel, Dex, but you really tanked that one. Why blow the shrimp off like that?
Salmon like you should mako more of an effort to kelp people with questions. You cod have shelled out a quick answer, but instead you’re baiting him. Obviously it’s no fluke; you’re withholding information on porpoise.
I can’t fathom why you’d do something so shellfish. This question isn’t very deep; it’s one of the simplest I’ve seen on the board, an dive seen a lot. Your cruelty to this poor sucker is getting me really steamed! I’m usually not such a crab, but I’m so anchory about this, I’m getting a migraine haddock. If I don’t calm down soon, I may just eel over.
So come on, Dex, don’t crack under the pressure. You’re one of the smartest posters ever to come down the pike. Attuna your mind to this question, flex your mental mussels, and give us a few pisces of information.
Laugh hard; it’s a long way to the bank.
Did AuraSeer take a long walk off a short pier??
Yeah, but they’re all of the “been there, done that” variety, which is why I din’t bother with more than a token nod.
No, Aura’s not a fish, but he drinks like one.
<font size=1>Psst. Dex. C’mere. You, uh, semi-answered this one in a mailbag item about bugs. Want me to go get it for you?</font>
Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine
First off, this really should be moved to General Questions, since it doesn’t relate directly to a mailbag item. However, taking it to be a side reference to the comments made offhandedly in Do insects sleep? …
David Feldman, a Cecil-wannabe, has several books out called “Imponderables.”
He says, briefly, what Doug said – we don’t really have a good definition of what “sleep” means. Quoting: "First of all, except for elasmobranchs (fish with cartilaginous skeletons, such as sharks and rays), fish don’t have eyelids. So they can’t very well close them to sleep. No fish has opaque eyelids that block out vision, but some have a transparent membrane that protects their eyes from irritants.
“Pelagic fish (who live in the open sea, as opposed to coasts), such as tuna, bluefish, and marlins, never stop swimming… Even coastal fish, who catch a wink or two, do not fall asleep in the same way humans do.”
He goes on to cite the director of Species Research for the International Game Fish Association, who says:
“Some reef fishes simply become inactive and hover around like they’re sleeping, but they are still acutely aware of danger approaching. Others, like some parrot fishes and wasses, exude a mucus membrane at night that completely covers their body as though they’ve been placed in baggies. They wedge themselves into a crevice in the reef, bag themselves, and remain there, semi-comatose, thorugh the night. Their eyes remain open but a scuba diver can approach them and, if careful, even pick them up at night…”
Feldman concludes that fish “sleeping” is similar to the “way we plod through our everday lives when we are awake. Our eyes are open but we choose, unconsciously, not to register in our brains most of the sensory data we see.”
So generally, fish don’t “sleep” but they do “space out” at night. Check out an aquarium at night, the fish float effortlessly while they’re “blanked out”… a lot more graceful than most human looks when they’re asleep, says Feldman.
OK, now instead of staid and tired old puns on kelpless and shellfish and on porpoise, let’s see what you can do with “elasmobranchs”, “pelagic” and “parrot fishes and wasses.”
On second thought, don’t touch “wasses.”
[Note: This message has been edited by CKDextHavn]
[[Salmon like you should mako more of an effort to kelp people with questions. You cod have shelled out a quick answer, but instead you’re baiting him. Obviously it’s no fluke; you’re withholding information on porpoise.]]
I figured you’d learn this in school.
Walleye may be off bass here, but I’m soled on Dex’s post. He’s no piker. Conch you sea he’s right?
This space for rent.
"OK, now instead of staid and tired old puns on kelpless and shellfish and on porpoise, let’s see what you can do with
“elasmobranchs”, “pelagic” and “parrot fishes and wasses.”
On second thought, don’t touch “wasses.”
Typo. The word is “wrasses”.