Slow times post recovery

I’ve been too busy to work on the site for a couple++ days, and I’m not sure I’ll quite get back to frequent postings for a few more days still.  But to break to drought, here’s a quickie on poisonous fish.  Apparently, there are significantly more poisonous fish species than poisonous snake species.  Perhaps this will set up Mr. Jackson for his next movie sequel?  I’m thinking something with fish in a glassbottom boat.

The 1,200 presumably venomous fish tallied in a new study is six times previous estimates. Fish with a biting bite outnumber all other venomous vertebrates combined, in fact.

“The results of this research were quite surprising,” said researcher William Leo Smith of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

This might surprise you, too: More than 50,000 people are poisoned by fish bites every year, Smith and his colleague said. Symptoms range from blisters to death.

. . .

“Venomous fishes are in almost all habitats,” Smith told LiveScience. “They range from mountain streams to the depths of all oceans, but the vast majority of the most venomous fishes are in the tropics, he said.

There are also “plenty of venomous fishes” in the United States, but most are “not particularly harmful,” Smith said. Exceptions include a few scorpionfishes in California and the Western Atlantic.

“However, there is always the possibility of introduced species being quite venomous,” he said. “And, we have an example of this in the case of the lionfish/firefish, which became introduced in Florida, and now individuals can be collected at least as far north as Long Island in the fall.”

Should swimmers worry? “For the most part, no,” Smith said. “But people should always exercise caution when dealing with unfamiliar fishes or known venomous species.”

Sounds scary.  I don’t think any of those poisonous fish are on the same deadliness scale as the blue ring octopus, but these critters can still kill you dead.  Forever.

And that’s a very long time.

[tags]Poisonous fish, Fish on a mother-@#$@ing boat?[/tags]