What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins

What a Fish Knows The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins An underwater exploration that overturns myths about fishes and reveals their complex lives from tool use to social behaviorThere are than thirty thousand species of fish than all mammals birds rep

  • Title: What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins
  • Author: Jonathan Balcombe
  • ISBN: 9781786071224
  • Page: 248
  • Format: Paperback
  • An underwater exploration that overturns myths about fishes and reveals their complex lives, from tool use to social behaviorThere are than thirty thousand species of fish than all mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians combined But for all their breathtaking diversity and beauty, we rarely consider how fish think, feel, and behave In What a Fish Knows, theAn underwater exploration that overturns myths about fishes and reveals their complex lives, from tool use to social behaviorThere are than thirty thousand species of fish than all mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians combined But for all their breathtaking diversity and beauty, we rarely consider how fish think, feel, and behave In What a Fish Knows, the ethologist Jonathan Balcombe takes us under the sea and to the other side of the aquarium glass to reveal what fishes can do, how they do it, and why Introducing the latest revelations in animal behavior and biology, Balcombe upends our assumptions about fish, exposing them not as unfeeling, dead eyed creatures but as sentient, aware, social even Machiavellian They conduct elaborate courtship rituals and develop lifelong bonds with shoal mates They also plan, hunt cooperatively, use tools, punish wrongdoers, curry favor, and deceive one another Fish possess sophisticated senses that rival our own The reef dwelling damselfish identifies its brethren by face patterns visible only in ultraviolet light, and some species communicate among themselves in murky waters using electric signals Highlighting these breakthrough discoveries and others from his own encounters with fish, Balcombe inspires a enlightened appraisal of marine life.An illuminating journey into the world of underwater science, What a Fish Knows will forever change your view of our aquatic cousins your pet goldfish included.

    Fish What is a fish Understanding Evolution The term fish is a convenient term used to refer to diverse aquatic organisms, such as lampreys, sharks, coelacanths SEE luh kanths , and ray finned fishes but it is not a taxonomic group that would be used in a phylogenetic classification scheme, as vertebrates or hominids is. What a Fish YouTube Fish Definition of Fish by Merriam Webster Definition of fish for English Language Learners a cold blooded animal that lives in water, breathes with gills, and usually has fins and scales. What Is A Fish All About Fish DK Find Out A fish is a scaly skinned vertebrate that swims in water and breathes using gills Vertebrate means that a fish has a skeleton with a spine Most fish have a skeleton made from bone, just like amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals But sharks and rays have skeletons made of a Fish definition of fish by The Free Dictionary Fish can be a count noun or an uncount noun A fish is a creature that lives in water and has a tail and fins In modern English, the plural of fish is fish, not fishes Fish All About Fish kidzone What distinguishes fish from the other animal classes Fish are a class of aquatic vertebrates The combination of gills, fins and the fact that they live only in the water make fish Fish for Kids Learn all about aquatic and ocean marine life Some fish, called predators, prey on other fish and animals The shark is a noted predator that hunts for prey Other predators lay in wait for their prey by hiding in the sand or rocks in order to ambush their prey. Beginner s Guide on How to Catch Fish How to Fillet A Fish Learn how to fillet a fish in four easy steps Filleting a fish is easier than you think Learn More How to Store Fish Once you have caught your fish, you will need to learn the proper way to store your catch Learn More How to Catch Carp Learn to fish carp what tackle to use, which baits to use, and where to go Learn More Fish Simple English , the free encyclopedia Fish plural fish or fishes are vertebrates which live in water and respire get oxygen with gills They lack limbs with digits fingers toes This is a definition which does not quite work some amphibia also live in water and have external gills, but they are not fishes Fish used to be a class of vertebrates.

    • What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins By Jonathan Balcombe
      248 Jonathan Balcombe
    • thumbnail Title: What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins By Jonathan Balcombe
      Posted by:Jonathan Balcombe
      Published :2018-09-13T09:03:15+00:00

    About " Jonathan Balcombe "

  • Jonathan Balcombe

    Jonathan Balcombe was born in England, raised in New Zealand and Canada, and has lived in the United States since 1987 He has three biology degrees, including a PhD in ethology the study of animal behavior from the University of Tennessee, where he studied communication in bats He has published over 45 scientific papers on animal behavior and animal protection.He is the author of four books Jonathon is currently at work on a new book about the inner lives of fishes, and a novel titled After Meat.Formerly Senior Research Scientist with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Jonathan is currently the Department Chair for Animal Studies with the Humane Society University.Based near Washington, DC, in his spare time Jonathan enjoys biking, baking, birdwatching, piano, painting, and trying to understand his two cats.

  • 873 Comments

  • Years ago I had an extraordinary experience with squids when I was snorkelling off an unknown reef very close to a tiny island about 100 yards from shore. If the reef had been known there would have been very few parrotfish and cowfish, both of which are good eating. There would also have been no supermale parrotfish. A supermale is a female that has turned into a male and is double or more the size of the other fish and also much more beautiful and brightly coloured and absolutely delicious to [...]


  • _What A Fish Knows_ was a quick, enjoyable read that veered between being a popular science book on the latest findings on fish behavior, memory, sensory abilities, and intelligence and a book strongly advocating for a kinder, more empathetic treatment of fish (and also essentially never, ever eating fish again). I can understand how one type of writing (fish are both surprisingly intelligent and quite aware of their environment and what happens to them in ways that might surprise most readers) [...]


  • Read this from a recommendation on a blog. Did not know what to expect, but the book was a lively romp with an intelligent guide through all things fish. Senses, emotions, social structures. Check it out.


  • Brain candy for any divera must read. The last two chapters point out a ton of inconvenient truths for fish eaters. Looks like there are going to be more nuts and beans in my diet.


  • Once I heard this book was coming out, I had to have it because, as the author points out, you can't really find an entire book devoted to fish ethology (behavior). Now, this author undoubtedly has a bit of an agenda as you can tell from prior books. He's for animal rights so I wanted to see if he strayed too far from hyperbole. Generally I don't think he did. Mostly he stays with the science and makes some excellent points such as a) fish came way before us so it's not like they've stopped evol [...]


  • It is difficult to look into the eyes of another living creature without wondering what that creature thinks of what he sees in your own eyes. Does that animal wonder what we are and what our intentions might be? Is it perhaps seeing us as an equal that deserves the benefit of the doubt? Or is anything really going on in the brain behind those eyes at all other than the hope that we will provide the animal with something to eat or drink? Humans find it easy to relate to pets, especially dogs and [...]


  • When we seem them, they’re all a “fish out of water,” which is a phrase describing someone in an alien place, probably suffering as a side effect. That’s 99% of our experience of fish, but it’s not Balcombe’s experience, and he wants us to know that fish have interesting cognition (learning and performing complex tasks), sophisticated memories, relationships, social bonding, and a real sense of pain that we continuously violate. The book tells us that fish have these rich lives, but [...]


  • When it comes to fish, what is fact and what is myth? If you’ve ever wondered about life in the underwater world, this book will teach you a lot, from fascinating facts like tapetum lucidum—the layer of the retina that enables marine creatures to see at night and is also responsible for creating the eyeshine in the eyes of cats and dogs—to the complexity of fish feeling. There are more species of fish than of all other vertebrates—mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians—combined, yet [...]


  • This excellent book about fish sentience is much better than we have any right to expect based on its subject matter. Fish seem hopelessly alien, a topic that Balcombe addresses early on. Without needlessly sexing up the topic, Jonathan Balcombe gives us an entertaining, organized, and scientific exposition of what it is that fishes know. As it turns out, this is quite a bit. Fish have language, can feel pain (this should be obvious, but now you know), like to play, are affectionate, and can use [...]


  • This book explores the sentience of fish. A very interesting read that made me aware of lots of fish behavior that I knew nothing about. I did find the book to be a bit preachy but regardless it made me think about fish in a more empathetic light than I did previously so it did do its job!



  • Admirable.Balcombe is a (former?) ethologist, working (in some capacity) for the Humane Society. In this book, he reviews what's known about fish thinking and feeling, the research that undergirds this knowledge, and speculates on further lines of study based on anecdotes he has collected.The book is organized around the (Romantic German biologist) Jakob von Uexküll's idea of Umwelt: the notion that an organism's understanding of the environment is shaped by its senses. Already, this approach p [...]


  • Wow!I have never before been so thoroughly bored and turned off by popularized science-writing. Please note the assignment of ONE star to this umm publication. I HAD to give it a star to review it. It actually deserves ZERO stars. I guess I could give it one star for the apparent effort it took to pull together the information the author so brutally misused in the text. But then I realized how easy it is for an unpaid intern to do that job with any reasonable search engine. So ZERO STARS!The Boo [...]


  • This book could have been titled "Fish Are Awesome" and it would still be an accurate title. Not only are there over 33,000 species of fish, humans have only begun to scratch the surface of what fishes are truly capable of. Fishes (I'm with the author that referring, " a trillion fish by the singular term lumps them together like rows of corn") are indeed awesome: from complex social structures and behaviours to organized hunting, feeding and mating rituals, fishes remain perhaps the most misund [...]


  • Jonathan Balcombe is an advocate for fish—or, as he prefers, fishes: “individuals with personalities and relationships”—and makes a strong case for piscine perception in What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins (Farrar, Straus). Weaving together decades of scientific studies of fish consciousness, cognition, and social structure, ethologist Balcombe (author of the lovely The Exultant Ark) offers a picture of fish(es) as complex and sentient beings. Not only do they ha [...]


  • I gave this book 3 stars because I think the subject matter is so critical, but I have read some of Balcombe's other work and am left here with the same feeling as with those: the writing is slow, and only sporadically does it pick up into something really enjoyable. This is a shame. I am reminded of books I've read on animal rights, like There Is No Happy Meat and compare it to Jonathan Saffron Foer's Eating Animals - and though I much prefer the message of Bohanec's, it was actually Foer's tha [...]


  • I enjoyed the premise of this book, that fish are interesting, evolved animals just as much as many birds and mammals. We should consider as much when we discuss fishing and farming practices, which may involve a great degree of cruelty. Including many interesting facts, studies, and anecdotes, this is a good choice for the casual reader looking for a little natural science. It did not have quite as many photographs in the picture section as I might have liked, but I would look at pictures of fi [...]


  • I will never look at a fish the same way again. They are sentient beings with problem solving skills. Some can recognize their humans and like to be petted. One species of fish float near the top of the water at high tide and memorize the map of the sea floor so they know where to hide when the tide is low. This book is full of fascinating facts but also gives examples of the cruelty we inflict on them. It ends with a glimmer of hope for a better future. The writing just flows. (No pun intended) [...]



  • This book about the intelligence, emotions, behavior and lives of all kinds of fishes from goldfishes to menhaden to rays to sharks fascinated and entertained me. Here are my notesis is not a review: What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousinsby Jonathan Balcombe, ethologist"Overexploited""stock" - human distancing.Die from asphyxiation, crush of being piled up, trauma dredge, decompression.Biology and biography - individualCartilagenous fish 6th vertebrate group.Brain size only [...]


  • Wonderful, amazing. The writing is at times a little bit dry, but luckily the objects of the author's book are more than making up for that. Did you know that fishes like to be caressed, that some of them have taste buds all over their bodies (650.000 taste buds in total) so they can taste their whole environment (imagine that). Some fishes can split their eyes in 4 so that they can see what's happening above and under water, others can roll over their eyes to one side of the body. Did you know [...]


  • I loved this book - and I learned so much. I love all animals and have an appreciation of how they are each individuals, with their own personalities. And while I have believed that fishes are sentient beings, I was not aware of their complexity. I loved the behavioral trial that took a certain type of fish 40 tries to solve it, primates 100 tries and a human child who didn't get it after 100 tries. Unfortunately, though, while the evidence posed in this book should get people to think again abo [...]


  • ~4h @ 2x. Contents:(view spoiler)[Dedication (To the anonymous trillions)ProloguePart I: The Misunderstood Fish– Diverse and Versatile– Lowly NotPart II: What a Fish Perceives01. What a Fish Sees– Color Badges and Flashlights– Fooled You!02. What a Fish Hears, Smells, and Tastes– Concerto in D Major for Fish– A Good (Sense of) Smell– Tasteful Fishes03. Navigation, Touch, and Beyond– Pressure Sensors– Electrified– The Pleasure of TouchPart III: What a Fish Feels04. Pain, Consc [...]


  • ”And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”‭Of the countless ideas the Bible is responsible for, ”dominion” has arguably been the worst. Instead of understanding life as vast systems of interconnected organisms, of which man is just one, man has made himself arbiter of all other [...]


  • Every once in awhile I am lucky enough to read a book that feels like it was written just for me, and this is one of those books. Here Balcombe takes a good look at the cognition and senses of fishes, with chapters on their consciousness, social lives, tool use, and more. Fishes have individual personalities and are much smarter than people realize, and that's something I have seen myself in the many hours I've spent underwater with them.Too many people think of fishes as primitive and unfeeling [...]


  • This book has almost (98%) persuaded me to give up eating fish; well, it and what I have read about mercury levels in fish and bits of plastic as well. Given the pollution of our oceans, fish are not a healthy food source; given Balcombe's examination of the intelligence, awareness/consciousness of fish, and the inhumanity of how we capture and kill them, we need to rethink how we "harvest" them (and we all should rethink how many children we should have--the projected increase in human populati [...]


  • This book is well written and super easy to read. Scientific studies involving fishes are perfectly integrated into narrative and sectioned well. I gave this book five stars also because the message is so important. A lot of so called "vegetarians" who claim a higher morality will still eat fish and that is so wrong. This book perfectly illustrates the intelligence and social structure of fish that puts them on the level of mammals of birds, and oh yes, they can and do feel pain and are killed i [...]


  • I was hoping for a book that used science to share the author's awe and wonder at the natural world. Instead I got a book where the science is used to support the author's personal belief that we need to dramatically change our relationship with fish.And I am sympathetic to that worldview. I think the environmental and ethical issues are genuine and worth examining. But the preaching, which is undeniably the main point of this book, had the opposite effect on me. I questioned whether or not the [...]


  • I loved this book! The writer mixes charasmatic stories about fish with scientific records and facts of these phenomina taking place so it feels like a trustworthy account on the lives that fish lead. The book tells the stories without heavy handedly anthropomorphising the animals and guides the reader to the knowledge that while these animals may be very different from us, we are all living beings with certain amounts of personality and spunk (there are certainly some fish in the book with more [...]


  • Excellent book. I had no idea fishes were such complex and interesting creatures. What I like about this book is that the various aspects about fishes are presented in a fun way and backed up by scientific references. Anyone who works with fishes or is curious about them should read this book.By the way, I'm intentionally using the plural term "fishes" instead of "fish" for the reason explained by Jonathan Balcombe in this book!


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