Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.
And what better way to start your week, then by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?
So let’s get started this week by talking about one of our fellow species of the animal family, catfish.
In the thirty third episode of The Simpsons, The War of the Simpsons (Season 02, Episode 20), Marge and Homer host a dinner party. During the party, Homer gets drunk and makes a huge fool of himself by insulting guests and ogling at Maude’s cleavage. Outraged and humiliated, Marge signs them up for a Church marriage retreat moderated by Reverend Lovejoy.
When Homer learns the retreat is being held at a popular fishing spot with a big catfish named General Sherman, he tries to bail out of the couples retreat to go fishing. Homer catches the catfish , but releases General Sherman back for the sake of his marriage. But the legend of Homer lives on:
Bait Shop Clerk: “Yep, “General Sherman”. They say he’s five hundred pounds of bottom-dwelling fury, don’t you know. No one knows how old he is, but if you ask me (and most people do), he’s hundred years if he’s a day.”
Customer: “And, uh, no one’s ever caught him?”
Bait Shop Clerk: “Well, one fella came close. Went by the name of Homer. Seven feet tall he was, with arms like tree trunks. His eyes were like steel, cold, hard. Had a shock of hair, red like the fires of Hell…”
But have you ever wondered what catfish are?
Catfish are species of fish named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat’s whiskers. While they can belong to a variety of families as seen below, they are classified as follow:
Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Chordata
Class – Actinopterygii
Superorder – Otophysi
Order – Siluriformes
Family – Catfish can come from a variety of families including Ailiidae, Akysidae, Amblycipitidae, Amphiliidae, Anchariidae, Ariidae, Aspredinidae, Astroblepidae, Auchenipteridae, Austroglanididae, Bagridae, Callichthyidae, Cetopsidae, Chacidae, Clariidae, Claroteidae, Cranoglanididae, Diplomystidae, Doradidae, Erethistidae, Heptapteridae, Heteropneustidae, Horabagridae, Ictaluridae, Kryptoglanidae, Lacantuniidae, Loricariidae, Malapteruridae, Mochokidae, Nematogenyiidae, Pangasiidae, Pimelodidae, Plotosidae, Pseudopimelodidae, Schilbeidae, Scoloplacidae, Siluridae, Sisoridae, and Trichomycteridae.
There are nearly 3,000 known species of catfish in the world. However, scientists believe that the actual number of catfish species could be as high as 4,500; as many species of catfish are found in areas where there is little or no human contact.
Catfish live in warm freshwaters with pH between 6.5 and 8.0. Typical freshwaters are fast flowing rivers or lakes. Catfish can be found on all continents, except Antarctica.
Catfish can grow anywhere from 1cm to 270cm (0.4 inch to 106 inches) and can live from anywhere between 8 and 20 years. Catfish typically live in clutches of up to 40 catfish.
Catfish are carnivores that typically prey on smaller fish, frogs, and worms. They are weary of predators such as larger fish, birds, mammals (including us humans), and reptiles.
As per the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), the biggest catfish caught was by Ken Paulie in the Elk City Reservoir in Kansas, USA on May 19th, 1998. It weighed 55.79 kg (123 lbs, 0 oz).
Now that we’ve learned more about catfish, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.
And don’t forget to vote in this weeks Bracket Battle!
Have you ever heard of catfish? Have you ever gone fishing for catfish? Have you ever gone fishing in general? Have you ever eaten catfish? Have you ever hosted a memorable dinner party? What’s your favourite Simpsons fishing reference? What about your favourite Simpsons Homer and Marge fighting episode? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.