Monday, November 30, 2009

Goldfish


The "lowly" goldfish (Carassius auratus) is possibly the oldest, domesticated fish. To find the first recorded reference goldfish experts must go back to the, Sung dynasty in China, circa 1000 A.D. It is agreed that this is when the first "red" mutation appeared. The goldfish was then taken to Japan in about 1500 A.D., while definite dates, 1611, 1691 and 1728 give them a place in European history. The goldfish reached America, from Japan, in 1876 and found a permanent home. These imports were of exceptional quality, a fact which is not common today.

The Chinese have produced the most varieties of this genetically variable fish, with depending on which expert you choose to believe, over one hundred varieties and sub-varieties being produced. Most purists would start at the beginning with the first mutation, the "Red Hibuna" or..... the common goldfish.

Most ichthyologists would describe best specimens as those that have a "sturdy look" to it. The back and ventral area should be moderately curved. The head area should be short and "wide". The caudal peduncle is short but strong, supporting a short, narrowly forked, caudal fin. Pectoral, anal and pelvic fins are paddle shaped and carried stiffly. Scaling is of a bright, metallic sheen in even, overlapping rows. Coloration is very variable, from the "wild" grey-green color through crimson red. Often one will find orange or red fish marked very attractively with black fins, lips, etc...., these are going through a phase known as "discoloring". These fish are in the process of shedding the black pigment and allowing the underlying colors to show through. Some fish do this very early in life, others may never change color at all.

These are the fish one usually wins at carnivals, fairs or as a joke door prize at parties. Most die early on, but many will live if given proper care.

Goldfish have been proven to have a very long life span.......

* The oldest goldfish on record is Freda who died in Sussex, England aged 41 years.
* No wait... another claim for the oldest goldfish on record is Tish At least 43. Tish was acquired at a fair in July 1956 and died in early August 1999.
* and yet another fish tale??? The 1995 Guinness Book of World Records reports that a goldfish died in 1980 at age 41. The fish was owned by A.R. Wilson of Worthing, Great Britain and was named Fred.

Kinds of goldfish:

1. Comets have a straight tail and are orange.
2. Fantails are orange and have a flared tail.
3. Shubunkins have a bluish tint and a straight tail.
4. Calicoes have a flared tail and a bluish tint.
5. Sarassas are bred for their red and white color.

I visited over 35 web sites looking for goldfish trivia and this is what I found!

* Goldfish lose their color if they are kept in a dim light or they are placed in a body of running water, such as a stream. They remain gold when kept in a pond or in a bowl with adequate illumination.
* The Chinese Lettered Goldfish is covered with Chinese characters, achieved through thousands of years of crossbreeding
* Misnamed Fish:The electric eel is not an eel, but is related to the harmless goldfish.
* The first successful goldfish farm in the United States was opened in Martinsville, Indiana in 1899.
* The most popular name for a goldfish in Great Britain and the United States is "Jaws".
* The collective noun for goldfish is a troubling.
* The Game and Fish Department in Silver City, New Mexico suspects the goldfish came to populate Lake Quemado by the thousands from a stash dumped out of a fisherman's bait bucket years ago.
"Back in late winter, early spring, we got a report in Las Cruces that the goldfish were going bonkers in Quemado," a spokesman said. "When we got there, I was shocked. The whole cove by the boat ramp was orange." Fishermen aren't interested in catching the goldfish and the Game and Fish Department department removed more than five tons of the goldfish - about 45,000 - but it didn't put a dent in the population.
* It's against the law in Seattle, Washington, for goldfish to ride on a bus--unless they lie still.
* The common goldfish is the only animal that can see both infra-red and ultra-violet light--Goldfish have four color receptors in their eyes compared to our three - the mantis shrimp has ten color receptors.
* A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds, but...goldfish remember better in cold water than in warm water.
* The brain of a goldfish makes up 0.3% of its total body weight. An adult human brain is about 2% of total body weight. (Statistic from G.E. Nilsson, "The Cost of a Brain," Natural History, 12/99-1/00.)
* A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.
* Goldfish can suffer motion sickness, maybe that's because goldfish have ears inside their heads. So the next time you feel queasy on a boat, it may comfort you to know that fish can also get seasick. Scientists were able to make goldfish seasick by creating artificial waves in a glass bowl.
* In 1939, one of the most famous and certainly most disgusting of the college fads, swallowing live goldfish, started.
A young lady at University of Missouri was the first female student to swallow a live goldfish. But a co-ed student of Boston University became known that spring because of the goldfish sugar cookies she had created. Finally, a Massachusetts state legislature introduced a bill that would "preserve the fish from cruel and wanton consumption." The president of the Boston's Animal League made sure that goldfish swallowers would be arrested if campus officials did not stop this behavior. A pathologist at the U.S. Public Health Service said that goldfish may contain tapeworms or harbor a disease that causes the swallower to become anemic.

Today among the amazing acts is one performed by Stevie Starr The Regurgitator who swallows large coins, Rubic's cubes, ladies rings and padlocks. He can return the items in any order with the cube solved and the ring locked inside the padlock. Many people are astonished to watch him swallow a live goldfish and return it unharmed.
* On Sesame Street, Bert's goldfish were named Lyle and Talbot, presumably after the actor Lyle Talbot. What were the names of Loretta Hager's two pet goldfish in the TV series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman? Conway and Twitty. Bianca is the name of Mickey Mouse's pet goldfish and Pinocchio's was Cleo.
* Pepperidge Farm produces over one million flavored Goldfish per hour.
* and finally from Randy's Homestead: My Pets...
The Associated Press reported in December 1985, in Eugene, Oregon, a 6-month-old kitten set a Christmas tree on fire while batting at the lighted bulbs. The heat of the fire cracked a nearby fishbowl, and water from the bowl doused some of the fire. Firefighters arrived within minutes of the fire starting and put out the fire, which had spread to the carpet. A goldfish named Clyde was found lying prone in the cracked bowl, and when put into another bowl with water, was quickly revived and survived the ordeal. The water in Clyde's bowl had prevented the fire from getting out of control.

Disclaimer: The web tales, fish tales, and trivia gathered from web sites are meant for the sole purpose of entertainment and cannot verified as factual.

Sources:

Petnet - Responsible Ownership in Australia - Petrivia Library
Accessed Mar 17 2001

Picture Source

Randy's Homestead: My Pets

Accessed Mar 17 2001

Tip 'o the hat to spiregrain for the information about Stevie Starr The Regurgitator. (August 26,2006)

Trivia for Kids

Accessed Mar 17 2001

Wow Animal and Pet Pictures
Accessed Mar 17 2001

No comments: