Catfish are one of the most common fish types in the world today yet most know very little about them. Catfish are named this way because of the small bars that extend from their face, resembling the whiskers of a cat. Aside from this common trait catfish are a very diverse species with some being herbivores and others not, some remaining small and others growing into great sizes.
Overall the catfish is one of the largest vertebrate species known in the world today. One in every four freshwater fish is a catfish and one in every 20 vertebrates is as well. Some measure 15 feet in length while others are smaller than an inch.
Catfish use their ‘whiskers’ to help them find food as well as their smell and taste. The majority of catfish are omnivores and a large variety of foods including plant life, fish eggs, and other fish. Despite this, there are some catfish with peculiar diets who live off of wood and algae. Giant catfish have been spotted eating rodents, frogs, and birds!
Catfish are talented predators. They can track prey using their sense of smell and taste but are also great stalkers. They can see the trails left behind in the wake of other fish and are able to follow them. Based on the behavior of their prey it appears they do not realize until it is too late.
As catfish are one of the most common types of fish and vertebrates in the known world they deserve a little respect. It is funny to see then the term catfishing has now been created. Catfishing is when someone pretends to be someone they are not based on an online presence to be in a relationship. The term comes from the fact that cod fishermen would often catch cod in Alaska and ship it over long journeys. To keep the cod active and agile they would put catfish in the same tanks as the cod. The catfish would nip at the cod tails keeping them active in the tank. The idea is that the online scammers nip at unsuspecting victims to keep them hooked.