What happens to fish that are swallowed whole?

Discussion in 'Marine Life and Ecosystems' started by DavidPT40, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. DavidPT40

    DavidPT40 Single Diver

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    I know this is kind of a strange question, but it is marine related. When a whale or large fish swallows a small fish whole (and alive), what actually kills the fish?

    I remember watching a show about either electric eels or electric catfish, and I could see the live fish thrashing around in the stomach of the electic eel/catfish. Morbid but interesting.
     
  2. raposarose

    raposarose Barracuda

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    Probably asphyxiation, if not then stomach acid.
     
  3. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

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    Think of the poor goldfish that used to be swallowed whole by sub-humans.
     
  4. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

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    Gulpies?

    Apparently easier to swallow when immersed in Tequila.

    The horror. The humanity. The hangovers.
     
  5. Hank49

    Hank49 Scuba Instructor

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    That's a real fish friendly thing to do. He's got a worm to eat upon arrival in your stomach.
     
  6. crpntr133

    crpntr133 lost, even with a compass

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    If it is a quick swimmer, nothing. It just swims to the other end and swims on. :D
     
  7. Sideband

    Sideband Surface Interval Member

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    He just swims and swims and swims like crazy until he is all pooped out.

    Joe
     
  8. MichaelBaranows

    MichaelBaranows Manta Ray

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    I am sure the stomach acid would kill it. But I do remember one one Jack @ $ $ espoide that Steve-O swallowed a goldfish and then coughed it back up about a minute later into a bowl and it was swimming around like normal.
     
  9. mongoose

    mongoose Single Diver

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    Well, I'm not toos sure about other fish, but I keep cichlids and feed them live food often. It's basically the same as non-live. Cichlids (unlike some other fish) have no teeth in the front of their mouth, but rather, rough bony ridges to grip things if necessary. They have traingular plates in the back of their mouth which have their "teeth" proper. The rub these together over the food to grind it up between them. Any unwanted portions of the food is swept out of their gills via small "rakes" on the interior portion of their gills.

    As far as catching the food, cichlids possess a powerful muscle on the "chest" which runs up to the lower hinge of their jaw. They approach live prey from behind, that muscle contracts, and their jaws pop open (and gills slap shut) at lightning speed, doubling or tripling the volume of their mouth. This creates a massive vaccuum which sucks the prey into their mouth.

    Hope that helps.

    --'Goose
     
  10. DavidPT40

    DavidPT40 Single Diver

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    So basically its a combination of stomach acid, stomach muscles, and asphyxiation. Someone needs to slip a tiny camera in with a school of baitfish as humpbacks are feeding.
     
  11. Kim

    Kim Here for my friends..... ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Where's David Attenborough when you need him! :D
     
  12. PavoDive

    PavoDive Scuba Instructor

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    If the fish can speak whale, he/she can just get a ride to Sydney :D

    Sorry, couldn't avoid the temptation :D

    I'd go with the acids, but seems to me that most bony fishes would have those grinding theet??

    G.P.
     
  13. DavidPT40

    DavidPT40 Single Diver

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    I just read in "Mysteries of the Sea" that sperm whales have been found with live fish and squid in their stomaches.
     
  14. STOGEY

    STOGEY Manta Ray

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    Yes but at least they were crackers.
     
  15. Machiavelli

    Machiavelli Angel Fish

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    Do fish have stomach acid?
     
  16. DiveGolfSki

    DiveGolfSki Manta Ray

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    :hm: That is a very strange question. Ask Jonah.

    Better yet, you can ask these guys:
     
  17. serambin

    serambin Barracuda

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    "Like wow man, I think something just swallowed me." Then he flounces a few times and realizes it's time for a really, really long nap. He's getting sooo sleepy and then . . .

    Stan

    I just love a great bedtime story, don't you? :bfish: :crossbone
     
  18. serambin

    serambin Barracuda

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    Where is Emeril Lagasse when you need him?

    Stan
     
  19. DavidPT40

    DavidPT40 Single Diver

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    Well, I finally found the answer to my question. The fish suffocate to death. When a whale swallows fish whole, the fish go into a non-enzyme secreting stomach. Here, anaerobic bacteria slowly break down the fish into a soup, which passes through a small opening into the other stomachs.

    [​IMG]
    Anchovys in a Bryde's whale stomach

    [​IMG]
    Salmon in a minke whale's stomach

    From the pictures, it looks like the stomach may not move much. The fish appear to be intact.
     
  20. Kim

    Kim Here for my friends..... ScubaBoard Supporter

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    The Japanese eat some small fish alive and whole. They just swallow them.

    Having tried a few I can assure you that they don't come out intact at the other end! :D
     

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