A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last week has shown that in the world of prehistoric fishes, if you were large and had a habit of biting things in an overzealous manner, chances are you wouldn’t have survived the mass extinction of 65 million years ago. When that catastrophic asteroid hit, it spread thick soot and dust across the surface of the earth, hindering photosynthesis and therefore growth, the predatory fishes at the top of the food chain whose diets consisted of smaller fishes, and whose populations tended to increase in numbers and maturity more slowly than others, were very quickly wiped out:
“Any way you sliced it, the data showed that if you were a big fish with a fast bite, you were toast,” author of the study, Matt Friedman said.
And oh no, predatory fishes of today, don’t kid yourselves into thinking those apocalyptic days of the yester-millennia are long gone, because history has a tendency to repeat itself, and let’s be honest, things haven’t been going too swimmingly for you of late in terms of population growth, if you’ll kindly excuse my pun. So tuna, billfishes, some advice: fucking stop being so bitey. You can’t help your largeness, no one’s asking you to try, but perhaps if you just slowed your chomping down and, you know, savoured your prey a little, you might just edge yourselves out of the ‘at risk’ category. And okay, tuna and billfishes, I’m no scientist, but it could possibly even help with those indigestion and heartburn problems you’ve been having. And while you’re at it, sit down of an evening and have a meal with your spawn. Listen to what they have to say and impart the wisdom of a parent to them over a proportionate mouthful of herring. Because it’s like I always say: Spawn are the future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.