There’s Something Fishy Going On

  • Published on January 21, 2022

There’s Something Fishy Going On

Since this year is the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture, I thought I’d begin with a post about fish. Learning about fish is relevant to the biological sciences curriculum when we explore living things, their features, where they live, what they need and how they grow.

I decided to jot down some of my questions and write answers to them. We all know what fish are, right? There’s nothing difficult about describing a fish. But when I really started to think about what I know about fish, I realised I had more questions than answers and that explaining what a fish is, isn’t as easy as I thought.

These are some of the questions raised when I thought about fish. Perhaps you have others. If so, please list them in the comments so I can research the answers. Note: While I know answers to some of my questions, as I’m sure you do too, I’m not sharing answers in this post as I have more research to do. The answers will have to wait for another time.

25 Fishy questions

  • What is a fish?
  • How do fish swim?
  • Where do fish live?
  • How do fish breathe under water?
  • How are baby fish born?
  • What are baby fish called?
  • What do fish eat?
  • What is the biggest fish?
  • What is the smallest fish?
  • What eats fish?
  • What methods are used by fishers for catching fish?
  • How many different types of fish are there?
  • How long have fish lived on Earth?
  • Do any fish live on land?
  • How long do fish live?
  • Is a shark a fish?
  • Is a dolphin a fish?
  • What’s the difference between a fish and a dolphin and a whale?
  • What is a group of fish called?
  • What is a group of sharks called?
  • Do fish live in every ocean and river?
  • Do the same fish live in the ocean as in the rivers?
  • How are fish that live in freshwater different from those that live in saltwater?
  • Why do fish have different colours and patterns?
  • Do fish drink water?

5 Non-fish but fish-related questions

  • What is the difference between freshwater and saltwater?
  • Why is the sea salty?
  • Why is it called freshwater?
  • Can you drink freshwater?
  • Can you drink saltwater?

5 Fishy surprises

When I began my research, I came across some fascinating facts. Here are just five (I don’t want to give away too much just yet).

  • Most fish are cold blooded. There is just one fish that isn’t.
  • Some fish are amphibious and may even spend more time on land than in the water.
  • While all fish have gills, some fish also have lungs.
  • There are more than ten species of fish that walk (living) or walked (extinct) on legs.
  • While Megalodon may have been the biggest shark that ever lived, there was an even bigger fish.

5 Additional fishy things to find out about

  • Pet fish
  • Fish farms
  • Catching fish
  • Fish food (fish as food)
  • Poisonous fish

Fish in name but not in nature

  • Jellyfish
  • Silverfish
  • Shellfish
  • Cuttlefish
  • Starfish
  • Crayfish

3 Fishy rhymes and poems

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I caught a fish alive

Fish, fish, Come into the dish

Three Little Fishies

5 Fishy books

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

One Less Fish by Kim Michelle Toft (and other books)

Mr Seahorse by Eric Carle

The Little Fish that Got Away by Bernadine Cook and Crockett Johnson

Swimmy by Leo Lionni


That’s all the fishiness for this post. Look for more posts and teaching resources with a fish theme in the future.

There are already a lot of turtle-themed lessons and teaching resources in the biology science section, including Let’s find out about sea turtles.

Let's find out about sea turtles cover

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    Thank you, Charli. Questions beget questions, and answers beget even more. Sometimes the questions we ask are more important than the answers.

    Did you forget the children’s card game, Go Fish? Lol. Now look how your curiosity got you from wondering about fish to this great project. Good questions I’d be interested in learning answers to. I think the only one I knew was – a group of fish, I believe it’s a school of fish. Hugs xx

    I did forget Go Fish, Debby. How remiss of me. Thank you for the reminder.
    I would have agreed with you about a school of fish, but when I looked it up, I found it to be a ‘shoal’. I remember that word too but the term school of fish is more familiar to me. I’ll have to investigate a little further.

    Ya, that would be interesting. I always had known it as a school of fish. When I looked it up on dictionary dot com, it didn’t mention, but further searching lead me to finding the term school or shoal. 🙂

    A great post, Norah. I learned a few new things here too. I didn’t know that any fish were warm blooded, I thought it was only ocean mammals like dolphins and whales. You live and learn.

    That was something new I learned too, Robbie. I thought it was fascinating. Live and learn – for sure!

    They are fascinating, Jim. You’ll have to check out some of the amphibious fish to see them walk on land.

    I love this theme! We are huge fish fans and my children took a marine biology class before COVID. One of the topics was bioluminescence fish species. Another interesting fish topic could be what kinds of fish live in the deep-sea. Fish food chain?
    Looking forward to your answers. Great topic and hope you have fun fishing for answers. lol. (eeek, kind of a corny pun).

    Bioluminescent fish! Now that’s a fascinating topic. I appreciate your questions too, and will add them to my list.
    Thanks for your corny pun. I enjoy punning myself. 🙂

    I’m glad you liked the idea! Thank you!
    Looking forward to your research finding on this topic. If you need feedback, I’ll be happy to and/or my kids can provide kid-perspective feedback.

    Thank you so much for your offer, Esther. Appreciated. I’ll keep it in mind. 🙂

    That’s a great question, Barbara. I’ll add it to my list. Thank you. 😊🐠🐟

    Thanks, Jacqui. Aquariums are such fun to visit. I think I took a class there one year too. The fish, and other creatures, are fascinating and so colourful.

    This is a very fishy post! One question to add might be about how fish feel. A friend told me he never knew snakes didn’t feel like an eel till he finally petted one.

    Thanks, Chelsea. That’s a good question. I’ll add it to my list. I at first thought you were asking if fish felt pain or if they had feelings. Perhaps I should add those questions too.

Please share your thoughts. I love it when you do.

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