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May 11, 2005


So often as it is for the fish and fauna, it is for man.  This was our reflection as we learned this week of a Washington University study about how female fish are typically drawn to the male fish with the largest gonopodia.

Like human males in both behavior and physiology, so the guppies studied by Washington researchers.  Frighteningly similar. The tube like gonopodia extends from the belly of the fish. Male fish wave their gonopodia in front of females to attract mates. And the males with the largest gonopodia are the most successful with the fish babes.

Of course the negative side has a striking parallel. Large gonopodia act as a drag in the water, slowing the swimmer and making them fatally susceptible to predators.  Smaller gonopodia = a longer life.

Which gives proof to the old saying, it's not how big it is, it's how well you strap it up so you can still move around.

  Researchers point out another parallel, where some species of fish grow a large tail extension which looks like a large gonopodia but is in fact not.  Researchers refer to this flashy extension as "a tail sword" again a striking parallel to the human condition. We believe these fish to be the victims of internet spam fraud.  

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