Today’s animal of the day is the catfish–a type of ray-finned fish commonly found in North America, South America, Asia, and Africa, among others. There are several types of catfish with different identifying factors, but one thing they all share is their cat-like facial whiskers.
- North America is home to over 30 catfish species. Blue catfish, channel catfish, and flathead catfish being the most popular.
- Catfish use their whiskers mainly for self-defense.
- Most catfish are bottom feeders, meaning they source their food from the bottom of whatever body of water they reside in.
- Catfish diets change as they grow. Young catfish feast on insects and larvae. As they grow older, snails, fish eggs, and other fish are added to their diet.
- Catfish have great hearing. They can differentiate between different pitches and can even determine the distance of a sound’s origin.
- Catfish is a popular culinary dish around the world, and many countries have their own take on preparing the fish.
- Different catfish species vary largely in size. One of the largest catfish ever caught weighed nearly 700 pounds.
- In addition to being a type of fish, catfish is also a slang term used to describe people with fake dating profiles online. The term originated in a 2010 documentary titled Catfish.