by Erin Loury, Ichthyology Lab
Classes are back in full swing here at Moss Landing, which partially explains the sporadic nature of our blog posts (my apologies!). BUT! I am very excited about the coming few months because, despite being a member of the Ichthyology (or fish-geek) lab, I am just now taking a basic ichthyology class for the very first time. Which just goes to show that you can be a late-bloomer in your study interests and still make it to grad school!
In any case, I will have lots of fascinating little tidbits to share with you about our fishy friends, and will hopefully be able to convince you why they (and the world thy live in) are just so cool. Take this, for instance. If I asked you where fish live, you would (hopefully) say, “In water, obviously.” But take a minute to think about what that means – and how very different life would be compared to our air-filled, land-based existence. On our first day of class last week, Dr. Greg Cailliet, our fearless lab leader and class instructor, shared with us this quote from an ichthyology text by Karl Lagler (1962):
“Water is highway, byway, communications medium, nursery, playground, school, room, bed, board, drink, toilet, and grave for a fish.”
Phew! All of that happening in the same interconnected space. Greg added that students at MLML may very well have the same attitude towards our lab – all except for the grave part, we can only hope. (I mean, a thesis is hard, but that’s just asking a little too much). In any case, I thought the comparison was very fitting.
So how do fish do it? How do their lives work when every basic function, from breathing to eating to growing to mating to sleeping to escaping all have to happen in water? I hope you’ll stay tuned to find out the answers and more. For now, this little fish is going to get out of the school room before it turns into a bedroom!