An earlier post showing an weird fish pic has just been linked to by, and we’ve had a sudden flurry of visitors and comments about it (go and join in!). Because I have form in the weird fish pic category, here’s one we took on a Field Course in the foothills of the Alps in 2006. It is *NOT* photoshopped. It is a genuine photo, and it genuinely happened. The fish were in the duck egg at the bottom of the pond… This made big news back in 2006 (we first sent it to New Scientist, thengot on page 3 of The Sun (!), as well has on the BBC website,, and a 5-page spread in Chinese kids magazine Young Copernicus…

Here’s what we wrote in New Scientist:

On a field course in the foothills of the French Alps in July 2006, some of our students noticed a seemingly intact duck egg in a small pond. It clearly contained something moving. When we broke the shell we found three live minnows (Phoxinus phoxinus) inside (see Photo). Do any readers know for sure how the fish ended up here?



Filed under Fish

2 responses to “ANOTHER ODD FISH PIC!

  1. Just an educated guess. When the minnows were newborns, they probably slipped into the egg shell through a tiny hole. That same tiny hole allowed food (probably algae) to enter the shell. They ate, and grew large enough to not be able to leave. I have personally seen a similar occurrence, but on a larger scale. In that case catfish entered slender crevices in a concrete dam. Being scavengers, they ate the debris that also got washed into the crevices. There was plenty of food, so the catfish didn’t leave, and soon grew too large to exit. Here is the ‘fun’ part. While diving near the dam to perform some routine maintenance (a college job), I shined my light on one of these crevices, and what did I see? A single eye staring back at me! It was, startling, to be sure. I mean, just the eye, staring at me. It was bigger than the crevice, and I estimated it’s size at roughly 1/3 the size of my palm! I figured I had imagined it. Upon surfacing, I spoke with my boss, Gene, who confirmed that there were indeed large catfish, and some other species, ‘inside’ the dam. (Many sections are hollow by design). Gene estimated the one I saw to be around 110lbs. He said he has seen some that would be 200lbs. Sorry, I don’t have any pictures, but I do know of one that used to hang in a restaurant out near the dam. This was in the 70’s, so it was a real photo as photoshop had not yet been invented.

  2. What species are the fish? Also, were they collected and preserved somewhere? It would be interesting to see if they’re all related 😉

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