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No. 5: November 1978

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Fish Creates Fish

A Philippine anglerfish, looking for all the world like a rock or shell, waves before its maw a piece of bait resembling small fish found in this region. The bait, which is part of the anglerfish's body, has fins, a tail, and black spots for eyes. The waving about of the bait attracts predatory fish close enough for the anglerfish to snap them up. The authors surmise that the anglerfish evolved this realistic bait (and rod and reel) in order to save energy in acquiring food.

(Pietsch, Theodore W., and Grobecker, David B.; "The Complete Angler: Aggressive Mimicry in an Antennariid Anglerfish," Science, 201:369, 1978.)

Comment. One wonders how many unfishlike baits were evolved before just the right shape and coloration were achieved.

Philippine anglerfish waves a piece of bait resembling a small fish

From Science Frontiers #5, November 1978. 1978-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987