Sunday, December 04, 2005

Gar In The Marsh



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Gar are superbly adapted to Florida conditions. They are usually some of the last survivors when our seasonal droughts catch the other fish unprepared.

They can gulp air at the surface when ponds get low, warm, and oxygen levels drop. They are fast with a fish-snatching mouth full of fish snagging needle teeth. A minnow's nightmare.

Their scales aren't flat and flimsy like other fish. They are bony armor plate.

As a little extra survival adaptation, their eggs are poisonous.



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2 comments:

swamp4me said...

Ah, now gar we have in abundance, but only long-nosed gar.
The gar and the blackfish (aka bowfin, aka grindle, aka dogfish, aka mudfish, aka spotfish...) were the only species to survive relatively unscathed when dear hurricane Isabel blew through and left a fish kill in her wake.

Wayne said...

As kids, we'd visit our older cousins in Magnolia Springs, Alabama, and go swimming in Magnolia Springs River. They'd always warn us about "the gar" who lived just across the way. Watch out for that gar, they'd say, inoculating me by more than a decade for the neuroses I gathered by seeing "Jaws" . Older cousins can be so cruel, and given that both my parents were the youngest siblings in their families, all our cousins were older.

Didn't know about the poisonous eggs!