Oh, baby, baby
How was I supposed to know
That something wasn’t right here?
Oh, baby, baby
I shouldn’t have let you go
And now you’re out of sight, yeah!

Ugh. Sometimes I even make myself a little bit sick. Posting those lyrics made me throw up in my mouth a little.

It’s not that I don’t like Britney or her music. Ok. I hate her music. Her, well....she had a couple of good years. But I don’t like her so much either. The sad part is, it’s not even her fault I don’t like her. It’s the people she surrounded herself with. They made a lot of bad decisions for her. I mean, what was up with the denim look her and JT tried to rock?

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What really threw me over the edge was the whole lingua luchador she did with Madonna. I understand Madge was starved for attention, but Brits didn’t need to stoop that low. Now she’s contaminated with perma-cooties. And it’s sad.

So. What shall we discuss today? I’m sure that you’re looking at the picture I chose and you’re thinking ‘Oh great, a fish sex post’.

Well, here’s the thing. You’re going to have to learn about fish sex sometime, and wouldn’t it be better to learn about it from me than some shifty guy in a trench coat on the street corner? Well.....he’d probably be more accurate, but I’ll be more entertaining.

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But sadly, today’s post isn’t about fish sex. I know, I know...you’re all upset and disappointed. But I can’t write about something that doesn’t exist.

I’m not saying sex doesn’t exist.

What I’m saying is, there is no such thing as a ‘fish’.

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You see, when we say ‘fish’, we are referring to all gill-bearing, aquatic craniate* animals that lack digits and limbs.

However, they are in the phylum chordata and that phylum includes the tetrapods. (reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals). But the tetrapods aren’t fish. So, where does that leave fish?

The word fish is more of a general term to classify those creatures in the group I first mentioned. (gill-bearing, aquatic craniate...yadda yadda yadda...) That makes fish a paraphyletic** group. And according to systematic biology fish are a proper group for classification. The proper terminology for fish, pisces and ichthyes, are considered topological*** and not phylogenetic****.

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In the past biologists used to call anything that spent most of it’s time in the water a fish. That’s why we have cuttlefish, starfish, jellyfish, shellfish and crayfish. They also considered animals like the crocodile, hippo and seal to be a fish. And, as I have mentioned before, the pope once decided geese and beaver were fish to bypass the meatless Friday restrictions for those that didn’t want fish.

Now, if you were to ask who exactly cared about this subject, I’d answer honestly, taxonomists*****. And maybe a few OCD biologists. But really, the word fish is just a label we use to describe a group of similar critters. It’s not scientifically accurate at all.

* A craniate is a creature that has a bony or cartilaginous skull.

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** paraphyletic means it consists of a groups last common ancestor and all descendants of that ancestor.

*** this is the classification of the types of something based on their common characteristics.

**** it’s the study of the evolutionary history of groups or individuals and their relation to others.

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***** people who give the scientific name to new species.