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Bunter
220710.  Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:24 am Reply with quote

Fish sleep, get insomnia and sleep deprivation according to this article in today's Times:

Quote:
The long-standing puzzle of whether fish can sleep has been solved by a study that has shown that they like a lie-in after a disturbed night.

Like most other species of fish, zebrafish, Danio rerio, do not have eyelids and it has been difficult to establish if they are asleep when inactive or merely resting.

Researchers have now been able to show not only that the fish sleep, but that they can suffer from sleep deprivation and insomnia.

By repeatedly disturbing the fish using mild electric shocks, researchers were able to keep the popular aquarium species awake at night. Those fish that had suffered a disturbed night were found to catch up on their sleep as soon as the opportunity arose.

Some of the fish used in the study had a genetic mutation to the neural receptors for hypocretins, a substance that helps to promote wakefulness. A lack of hypocretins in human beings has been linked to narcolepsy.

Zebrafish with the mutation suffered from insomnia and it was found that the time they were able to sleep was cut by 30 per cent compared with fish without the mutation. “Fish lacking this receptor demonstrate short and fragmented sleep in the dark,” the research team reported in PLoS Biology, an online journal.

The study has given researchers insights into the function of molecules that regulate sleep and they hope further research into zebrafish, which were selected because they have a similar central nervous system to mammals, will help them to understand sleep disorders in human beings.

“Sleep disorders are common and poorly understood. Further, how and why the brain generates sleep is the object of intense speculations. In this study, we demonstrate that a bony fish used for genetic studies sleeps,” the researchers said.

Fish monitored by the research team from the United States and France were observed to have a drooping tail fin and stayed at the surface or bottom of the tank when asleep.

Emmanuel Mignot, of Stanford University in the United States, who was involved in the study, said: “This will likely give us important clues on how and maybe why sleep has been selected by natural evolution and is so universal.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article2666531.ece

 
Flash
220725.  Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:14 am Reply with quote

Very good. The research was led by Tohei Yokogawa:
Quote:

"Originally, we didn't have the automated sleep-deprivation system, so I manually sleep-deprived them, becoming sleep-deprived myself," Yokogawa said.

http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/item.php?news=1424

 
Jenny
276493.  Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:50 pm Reply with quote

I drove through Raymond, Maine, today, which describes itself as 'home of the landlocked salmon'. Apparently, this is a species that lives its entire life cycle in fresh water. This was news to me - I thought all salmon divided their life cycle between rivers and the sea.

More info on http://www.garycsguiding.com/information%20pages/infollsalmon.htm

 
Jenny
280592.  Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:06 pm Reply with quote

George Washington - great President and military leader, right? But also apparently in his day a commercial shad fisherman, whose commercial shad catch in 1771 was nearly 7,700 and saved the Valley Forge troops from starvation.

Source - a quick glance at a book called 'The Founding Fish', which seems to be confirmed by http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-5832335.html

 
Frederick The Monk
282324.  Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:06 am Reply with quote

The Shad story is covered in detail in the Shad Foundations 'Shad Journal'(for the study, protection and celebration of shad around the world). Interestingly those devious English men, led by the villainous Dr. Charles Blagden tried to stop the fun. He wrote:

Quote:
"we have passed a seine across the Schuylkill, to prevent the fish from getting up that river....I will take some pains to learn how far this precaution is found effectual."


The cad!

Anyway, here's the Shad Journal report:

Quote:
In 1938 Harry Emerson Wildes published the book Valley Forge in which he told a fish story that has endured for more than 60 years. According to Wildes, during the spring of 1778, the Continental Army, led by George Washington and camped at Valley Forge along the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania, was in dire straits for food:

"Then, dramatically, the famine completely ended. Countless thousands of fat shad, swimming up the Schuylkill to spawn, filled the river….Soldiers thronged the river bank….the cavalry was ordered into the river bed….the horsemen rode upstream, noisily shouting and beating the water, driving the shad before them into nets spread across the Schuylkill….
So thick were the shad that, when the fish were cornered in the nets, a pole could not be thrust into the water without striking fish….The netting was continued day after day…until the army was thoroughly stuffed with fish and in addition hundreds of barrels of shad were salted down for future use." [1]
Since 1938 this story has been published with variations in The Schuylkill by J. Bennett Nolan (1951), Valley Forge by Donald Barr Chidsey (1959), Birthplace of An Army: A Study of the Valley Forge Encampment by John B. B. Trussell, Jr. (1977), the Pennsylvania Angler (1987), and mostly recently in 1992 in John W. Jackson's Valley Forge: A Pinnacle of Courage. Wildes did not document his source, however, and no known primary source material substantiates the story.

Early Fishing On the Schuylkill River

From the earliest days of settlement in Pennsylvania, fishing weirs were a source of conflict between fishermen and boatmen. Shad fishing on the Delaware and Schuylkill (a tributary of the Delaware River) generally began around the middle of March, although the anecdotal records indicate a good bit of variance. In 1833 it was written that the "shad and herring fisheries in the Delaware, generally begin in the middle of March, if the season is early." [2]Fishing in the eighteenth century was usually reported as excellent. Seven shad were once caught with a single scoop of a dipnet. A fishery at Long Ford, at the mouth of the Pickering Creek, caught 8,500 shad in a single day. [3]

Beginning in 1683, laws were enacted to prohibit the erection of fishing dams and weirs on Pennsylvania’s navigable waters. This was done in part to keep the rivers navigable, and in part to prevent depletion of the fish. In 1734, the Governor's Council passed "An act to prevent the erecting of wears, dams, &c. within the river Schuylkill." Fishermen attempted to secure the repeal of these measures, or at least change them so that temporary fisheries could effectively operate. [4]

In 1761, the Pennsylvania Assembly declared that the Schuylkill was "navigable for rafts, boats and other small craft in time of freshes only." Commissioners were appointed to collect subscriptions to improve the channel. In their report they recommended removal of fishing dams.

By 1767 the fishermen on the lower Schuylkill were so active and thorough that dwellers upstream complained that fish had become scarce. A law was then passed prohibiting more than one seine or net (except hoop-net) being cast in one fishing place in the same twenty-four hours. In 1771 fishing was prohibited from sunset on Saturday to sunrise the following Monday. Evidently, the American Revolution did not end fishing concerns, because these regulating acts were reaffirmed in 1776 and 1781. [5]


Photo of Shad courtesy Indian River
Shad As a Provision During the Revolutionary War

During the American Revolutionary War, fish were an important food for the Continental Army. In December 1777, more than 10,500 pounds of fish were issued to the men. This was followed in January 1778, with about 20,000 pounds of "herrings" issued at Valley Forge, and about 15,000 pounds in February. The high point of issues was reached for the period in the week of 11 May-17 May 1778, when about 22,000 pounds of fish were issued to the Army. The next week, 18-24 May, the issuance of "fish" had dropped to 15,212 pounds. [6]

In February 1778, the "Committee of Congress at Camp," meeting at Moore Hall just outside Valley Forge, was already considering food supplies for the "Campaign of the Year 1779 and the Winter preceeding it." To meet part of this need it recommended "large Supplies of Fish laid up from the Rivers of Virginia particularly the Potowmack in the ensuring Spring….Dried Fish should also be purchased in the Eastern States during the Course of the next Summer." [7]

Delegate to Congress Gouverneur Morris wrote to a colleague on 19 February 1778, asking for "18,000 Barrils of Fish…to be laid up in the State of Virginia as many of them as possible Shad." The next day Ephraim Blaine, Deputy Commissary of Purchases with the army, wrote the Committee of Congress at Camp on his plans to visit Maryland, commenting on the "fine Shad Fisherys in that Country" and asking what price he should offer a barrel. Blaine also mentioned a man ten miles upstream of what is now New Hope, Pennsylvania, who would supply shad, but not barrels or salt. The Committee responded to Blaine the same day with a letter of introduction to the Governor of Maryland, and authorizing Blaine to purchase the shad though "The Cost on the whole will be great but [the army] must not starve." [8]

In early March the Commissary General of Purchases, William Buchanan, reported that there were "between 4 @ 300,000" pounds of dried fish at Baltimore. There were also "26800 Cod Fish" at the Head of Elk, but these and other stores could not be immediately brought forward due to a shortage of wagons. [9]

On March 9, a committee of Congress, then meeting at York, considered Morris’ recommendation of the previous month. As part of a proposal to feed the army, it was suggested that the:

"Commissary General of Purchases be directed to send his Orders to the several Deputy Commissaries of Purchases…to Contract for and secure from time to time, in the most Convenient season and places for that purpose, and in the most prudent and effectual manner possible, viz: Ten thousand barrels of Fish, well picked and saved for Use, and as many of them shad as can be procured; also Ten thousand Quintals [1 quintal is a weight of 100 pounds] of well cured and dried cod fish…" [10]
Congress referred the letter to the Board of War, an early precursor to the Defense Department, but ordered no specific action on fish purchases. However, the Board apparently ordered fish purchases because Horatio Gates, its president, wrote to Henry Hollingsworth at the Head of Elk (modern Elkton, Maryland), on 24 March that "The Board are pleased to hear of your Success as to dried Herrings but have been informed dryed Shad are better. However persue your own Plan." [11]

Meanwhile the Commissary officials at Valley Forge continued their efforts to secure food for the Army. On 21 March, John Chaloner wrote from Valley Forge to a Captain Patterson in New Jersey that "The season for procuring shad is nearly arrived You must do your utmost endeavours to procure at least 1,000 Barrels & more if possible." Militia men were authorized by General Washington to be exempted from military service to carry on the duty. Nine days later Chaloner wrote stridently, probably to Patterson, that "His Excellency Strongly urges that a large Quantity be procured--I would wish you to extend your Views beyond your own Neighborhood Securing all Fish wherever Barrels can be obtained….I wish all the shad as low as Trenton to be Secured & Barrelled." On 2 April, Azariah Dunham was requested to send to Capt Patterson "all the tight Casks you can procure for putting up of shad." Dunham was also requested to investigate a warehouse of beef barrels at Middlebrook, New Jersey to hold the shad. [12]

It should be noted that the fishery on the Delaware River was long established. In April 1779, Prisoner of War Thomas Hughes observing shad fishing at Easton commented "they often catch three or four thousand at a sweep." As many as 4,000 shad are reported to have been caught in one day at Burton’s Ferry in Bucks County. Gloucester County, New Jersey alone was reported to have 40 fisheries that employed about 900 men in 1829. [13]

That shad were not in the Schuylkill by late March 1778 is evidenced by a letter Washington wrote to Francis Hopkinson at Bordentown, New Jersey. The Continental Navy Board had been ordered by Congress to move from there to Baltimore and Hopkinson offered some of the Navy’s stores to the General. Washington was "obliged to you for the trouble you have taken in removing the Stores and more so for the offer of the Rice, Oil and Fish…." The Marine Committee of Congress wrote to the Navy Board on 8 April, that they "approve of the offer you have made the General of Rice, Codfish and Oil for the use of the Army." [14]

In early April, letters went from Valley Forge to Henry Champion at Hartford, Connecticut, and Thomas Richardson at George Town on the Potomac. Champion was asked to "procure a large quantity…recommend Shad Fish only" and Richardson to "put up all the Fish you possibly can." On 8 April, Ephraim Blaine wrote from Valley Forge to an associate in New Jersey that instead of serving with the militia "you can render ten fold more service to your Country by paying proper attention to the fisherys in your Neighbourhood. …all the tight Barrels in Camp shall be sent to you…let no Opportunity be lost to procure all the fish you can and be very particular in salting them." [15]

By April 9, the Governor and Council of New Jersey had recommended Langston Carlisle at Burlington, New Jersey to Blaine, who pleaded for him to "superintend and have Charge of the fisherys on Delaware beg you may Immediately prepare and begin to that salutary Business." The same day Blaine wrote to Joseph Hugg "the Congress have pressed me to use every Exertion in procuring Shad fish for the Army." Hugg was asked to meet Carlisle and ensure "that every method may be adopted to procure all we possibly can" and to "procure all" the salt and empty barrels "you possibly can." [16]

Shad did appear in the Spring of 1778. On 23 April 1778 Captain John Montresor recorded the Philadelphia "Markets plentifully supplied with Shad and herring." Two days later a Scottish officer noted "Shed fish pretty plenty" at the Market. In the Lehigh River at Bethlehem some 8,077 shad were caught between 27 April and 12 May. [17]

However, the shad were apparently blocked from coming up the Schuylkill River by the British Army in Philadelphia. On April 20 Dr. Charles Bladgen wrote that "we have passed a seine across the Schuylkill, to prevent the fish from getting up that river....I will take some pains to learn how far this precaution is found effectual." Unfortunately he does not tell us the results of his pains. As the British had a floating bridge from Philadelphia across to the west bank of the Schuylkill, the nets may have been hung from the bridge to block the shad. [18]

Blaine, Deputy Commissary of Purchases with the army , wrote a hopeful letter on 30 April, asking: "pray what Success have you had in procuring Shad hope pretty Considerable." His assistant Chaloner wrote to Captain Patterson in New Jersey the next day, hoping "you will in the course of a very few days raise and send to Head Quarters Two Brigades of Teams Loaded with Herrings Shad and Butter…. Pray exert yourself in the Fisheries and Providing Teams to forward all the Stores in your Neighbourhood." [19]

The Board of War, operating out of York, Pennsylvania, had been continuing its efforts to supply the army with shad. On 20 April, Horatio Gates had written to the active Henry Hollingsworth at Head of Elk, that "pickled herring were never well liked in camp, but shad greatly admired." As salt was in short supply, smoking was recommended as an alternate method of preserving the fish. Gates’ comment about shad being preferred corresponds with the observations of Nicholas Cresswell the previous April at Alexandria, Virginia. Cresswell observed a seine drawn in with nearly 40,000 herrings and 300 shad. "The Shads they use but the herring are left upon the shore useless for want of salt." On 12 May 1778, another member of the Board of War wrote Washington they had "every Reason to believe there will be twelve thousand Barrells of Shad, the greater Part whereof are smoked." [20]

However, transporting the fish to camp, as well as other supplies, was difficult. Wagons and drivers were chronically in short supply, and British control of the sea sometimes restricted transportation on inland waterways such as the Chesapeake Bay. Also, the financial appeal of privateering made it difficult to obtain ships and crews for transport. On 18 May, the Maryland Council, meeting in Annapolis ordered a sloop to "Mr Magruder’s Fishery on Broad Creek Potowmack River" to load 280-300 barrels of fish. These were to be taken to Charlestown in Cecil County, Maryland, at the head of the Chesapeake Bay "with all Expedition" to be forwarded on to Valley Forge. The Maryland Council also remarked that Blaine had been "pressing us to forward the Provisions from this State." However, there were "great Difficulties in procuring Craft for the transportation of Provisions." [21]

As recruits streamed into camp in April and May, and additional regiments arrived from Lancaster, Virginia and Wilmington, Delaware, the Commissary Department was hard pressed to feed the army. Some of the troops were a day and more behind in rations by 31 May. Thomas Jones wrote that "this day I believe we will be nearly able to furnish them with Shad. after that we must trust to Providence." From 25-31 May, some 15,508 pounds of fish were issued to the troops. [22]

John Ladd Howell wrote to Blaine from the Head of Elk on 7 June and reported that since receiving John Chaloner’s letter of 5 June, appealing for provisions that "three Brigades of Waggons Loaded with Fish from this place have gone on to Camp." He also reported that since 4 June, 480 "bundles Cod Fish" at 56 pounds each, and 42 barrels of fish had been sent from Charlestown to Valley Forge. A brigade was a dozen or so wagons. These seem to have arrived because from 1-7 June, about 18,000 pounds of fish were issued and the following week, about 42,300 pounds. [23]

Shad Migration Blocked?

A record of interest is the chronological list of notations in Washington's "Daily Expences," which shows a number of references to shad. On 10 April 1778, the first reference to shad that year appears, when twelve shad were purchased. A total of nine other purchases of shad are listed in April and May. On 30 May cash was "paid a man for bringing fish as a present." [24] Because Washington’s headquarters at Valley Forge stands but a stone’s throw from the Schuylkill River, why were fish being purchased for Washington and his military family if the shad run had occurred? The only reasonable answer is that the British in Philadelphia had succeeded in blocking the mouth of the Schuylkill, preventing the shad from coming up to spawn.

Another problem with Wildes’ story is the use of the cavalry to drive the fish towards the shore. At the start of the Continental Army’s Valley Forge encampment, the four regiments of Light Dragoons were sent to New Jersey. While there were hundreds of horses still in camp, the cavalry was in the Trenton, New Jersey area. In fact, Colonel Stephen Moylan, commanding the mounted troops in New Jersey, had complained to Washington on 13 May, that "They have lived upon salt fish these five weeks past, which is now expended." [25]

Another indication that shad were locally in short supply is found in the journal of a Lutheran minister who lived at nearby Trappe. On 10 June he bought "fifteen Sheat-fishes, a kind of fish which comes from the sea into fresh streams in the spring and may be caught in the Delaware and the Schulkil." He lamented that they once cost six pence each, but now cost two shillings each. [26]

In summary, the frantic efforts by the commissary and other officials to have fish caught on the Delaware and Potomac Rivers, with similar requests going as far as Connecticut, do not support Wildes’ story. The notations of shad purchased to feed Washington and his staff, the absence of cavalry units at Valley Forge, and the references to sending barrels from camp to the Delaware River for fish all further undermine the credibility of the story. As absolutely no primary sources are known to mention the incident, the miracle of the shad run at Valley Forge must be considered as just another fish story.

Beyond Valley Forge

Fish continued to be a vital (though sometimes unappreciated) staple. During the summer of 1780, Joseph Plumb Martin, stationed in the West Point, New York area, remarked that:

"Our rations, when we got any, consisted of bread and salt shad. This fish, as salt as fire, and dry bread, without any kind of vegetables, was hard fare in such extreme hot weather as it was then, We where compelled to eat it as it was. If we attempted to soak it in a brook…we were quite sure to lose it, there being a great abundance of otter and minks in and about the water, four-legged and two-legged…so that they would be quite sure to carry off the fish, let us do what we would to prevent it." [27]
It should be noted that the descendants of the shad not eaten by the Continental soldiers, have not migrated up the Schuylkill for over 180 years. The construction of dams for the Schuylkill Navigation Company have blocked the upstream migration of the shad since 1818. [28] As environmental awareness increases, and efforts are made to remove dams from rivers, as recently happened in Maine, it is hoped that shad will again return to spawn in the Schuylkill River.

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Notes

1. Harry Emerson Wildes, Valley Forge (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1938), 174-75. [back]

2. "Report on Fisheries," Hazard's Register of Pennsylvania 11, no. 14 (6 April 1833): 222. [back]

3. Earl J. Heydinger, "Transportation on the Schuylkill River Before 1825," Master’s Thesis, Lehigh University. 1954, 12. [back]

4. Ibid., 11-12. [back]

5. Ibid., 13-16. [back]

6. Returns of Provisions Issued, frames 91, 31-32; 34, 250; r75, M859, RG93, National Archives. [back]

7. Committee at Camp to Henry Laurens, 12-25 February 1778, Letters of Delegates to Congress, ed. Paul H. Smith et al., (Washington: Library of Congress, 1982), 9:83-84. [back]

8. Gouverneur Morris to John Harvie, 19 February 1778, Letters, 9:137-38; Ephraim Blaine to Colonel Dana, 20 February 1778, i167, r40, i167, r40, M247, RG93, NA; Committee at Camp to Blaine, 20 February 1778, Letters, 9:143. [back]

9. William Buchanan to the Board of War, 4 March 1778, r47, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress; John Ladd Howell to John Chaloner, 5 March 1778, Lloyd W. Smith Collection, Morristown National Historical Park. [back]

10. Journals of the Continental Congress (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1908), 10:235-36. [back]

11. Horatio Gates to Henry Hollingsworth, 24 March 1778, Sol Feinstone Collection, American Philosophical Society. [back]

12. John Chaloner to Captain Patterson, 21 March 1778, f1232, r75, Blaine Letterbook; Chaloner to Captain N, 30 March 1778, Ibid., f1237; Chaloner to Azariah Dunham, 2 April 1778, Ibid., f1239. [back]

13. Thomas Hughes, A Journal by Thos. Hughes For his Amusement…. (Cambridge, England: University Press, 1947), 65; Mark E. Chittenden, Jr. "Trends in the Abundance of American Shad, Alosa sapidissima, in the Delaware River Basin," Chesapeake Science 15, no. 2 (June 1974): 96-103; W. W. H. Davis, The History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania (Doylestown: Democrat Book and Job Office Print., 1876), 867; "Delaware Shad Fisheries," The Register of Pennsylvania 3, no. 14 (4 April 1829), 214. [back]

14. Washington to Francis Hopkinson, 28 March 1778, Writings of George Washington, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1934), 11:165-66; Marine Committee to the Commissioners of the Navy Board of the Middle Department, 8 April 1778, Out-Letters of the Continental Marine Committee and Board of Admiralty, August, 1776-September, 1780, ed. Charles Oscar Paullin (New York: The Naval History Society, 1914), 1:225. [back]

15. Chaloner to Champion, 2 April 1778, f1239; Blaine Letterbook; Chaloner to Richardson, 4 April 1778, f1239, Ibid.; Blaine to unidentified, 8 April 1778, f1245, Ibid. [back]

16. Blaine to Langstone Carlisle, 9 April 1778, f1246, Blaine Letterbook; Blaine to Joseph Hugg, 9 April 1778, Ibid. [back]

17. "Journal of John Montresor," Publications of The New-York Historical Society New York: The Society, 1881), 486; John Peebles' American War: The Diary of a Scottish Grenadier, 1776-1782, ed. Ira D. Gruber, (Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 1998), 176; John W. Jordan, "The Bethlehem Ferry, 1742-1794," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 21 (1897),106. [back]

18. Charles Bladgen to Joseph Banks, 20 April 1778, "Letters From Sir Charles Blagden to Sir Joseph Banks," Bulletin of the New York Public Library 7 (1903), 420. [back]

19. Blaine to unidentified, 30 April 1778, f1250, Blaine Letterbook; Chaloner to Captain Patterson, 1 May 1778, f1253, Ibid. [back]

20. Horatio Gates to Henry Hollingsworth, 20 April 1778, Dreer Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; The Journal of Nicholas Cresswell, 1774-1777. ed. Lincoln MacVeagh (New York: The Dial Press, 1924), 204; Richard Peters to Washington, 12 May 1778, r49, George Washington Papers, LC. [back]

21. Council to Thomas Richardson, 18 May 1778, Archives of Maryland, vol. 21 (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1901), 92; Council to unidentified, 18 May 1778, Ibid., 92-93; Council to Thomas Clagett, 25 May 1778, Ibid., 110-11. [back]

22. Thomas Jones to Charles Stewart, 31 May 1778, Charles Stewart Collection, New York State Historical Association; Return of Provisions Issued, 31 May 1778, f248, r75, M859, RG93, NA. [back]

23. Howell to Blaine, 7 June 1778, Blaine Letterbook, f272; Return of Provisions Issued, 7 June 1778, f254, r75, M859, RG93, NA; Return of Provisions Issued, 14 June 1778, f 246, Ibid. [back]

24. "Daily Expences," r. 117, GWP, LC. [back]

25. Extract in James McHenry to John Chaloner, 16 May 1778, r49,GWP, LC. [back]

26. The Journals of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, trans. Theodore G. Tappert & John W. Doberstein (Philadelphia: The Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States, The Muhlenberg Press, 1958), 3:163. [back]

27. Joseph Plumb Martin, Private Yankee Doodle, ed. George E. Scheer (Acorn Press, 1979), 192. [back]

28. Heydinger, 21-23. [back]

 
Flash
282344.  Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:30 am Reply with quote

Couldn't face reading the whole of that article, but a skim says it debunks the myth. Regrettably this is one of those ones where I hadn't encountered the myth in the first place - is it well-known in these parts?

Ties in to the Miracle of the Herrings, though:

In order to be beatified you have to do three miracles. One of those ascribed to Thomas Aquinas was the Miracle of the Herrings. On his deathbed he asked for herrings. As he was near the Mediterranean, where they don't have herrings, he was brought pilchards instead and declared them to be the best herrings he had ever eaten. Pilchards, transmogrified into herrings - a miracle!

 
Frederick The Monk
282406.  Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:12 am Reply with quote

See also the battle of the Herrings which gave Joan of Arc, another great miracle worker, her chance to have a bash at the English.

 
MatC
284312.  Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:23 am Reply with quote

Sperm whales “catnap” for short bursts and end up “drifting through the water” according to scientists at St Andrews University.

S: Morning Star, 21 Feb 08

 
Flash
284322.  Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:27 am Reply with quote

And they're in the 'fish' thread because ...?

 
MatC
284340.  Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:35 am Reply with quote

M'lud, it goes towards aquatic animals sleeping, and is therefore included as background to demonstrate that fish are not the only sea-born dozers.

 
Flash
284350.  Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:41 am Reply with quote

Objection overruled, then. My personal view is that whales jolly well are fish, anyway. I mean, just look at them.

 
MatC
284354.  Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:43 am Reply with quote

I'm with you, Flash: live in the bleedin water, don't they? That's "fish," that is.

If they're mammals, why can't you buy their yoghurt?

 
eggshaped
286458.  Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:15 am Reply with quote

Fish can count to four.

North American mosquito fish, that is. In an experiment female fish, who like to go to the biggest nearby shoal if harassed, consistantly chose shoals of four fish rather than three fish.

source

 
MatC
286469.  Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:22 am Reply with quote

Did we ever use the goldfish memory myth? Buggered if I can remember ...

 
Flash
286490.  Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:41 am Reply with quote

Yes, we did.

 

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