Pilot-fish: small friends of big sharks
In distant warm seas and oceans dwellsInconspicuous fish with striped sides and sharp-nosed head. Like many other fish, it eats crustaceans, small relatives and mollusks. Sometimes it is sent for migration.
One could say that the pilot is a fish that does not differ in anything from many thousands of others. But she also has an amazing feature that does not have many analogues.
Pilot - fish belonging to the unitPerciformes. She is a close relative of the horse mackerel. This fish is used for food, but the lion's share of the catch belongs to amateur fishermen, rather than large vessels. The fact is that pilots usually live in small flocks, it is pointless to hunt, as there are huge flocks of horse mackerel, mackerel and other much more valuable species nearby. But on the hook of the fishing rod this fish sometimes comes across. By the way, sometimes it becomes a prey of the Black Sea fishermen.
This fish can reach half a meter in length, butmost individuals do not exceed a length of 30 cm. Her body is painted in a blue-silver hue, and a few dark-blue stripes descend from the back on her side. On the lower surface of the trunk of the fish-pilot there is a pointed fin.
Unusual friends of the fish-pilot
"To whom the mare is a bride," said Ostap Benderwell-known janitor Tikhon. "And who and the White Shark - the closest girlfriend," - would certainly say the fish-pilot, if I could speak. Yes, small groups of striped fish spend most of their life next to the thunder of the seas and oceans. It is noteworthy that the best friends of the pilots are completely different types of sharks.
Scientists, researchers of the underwater world, conventionaldivers, travelers - who just did not try to find answers to the question about this incomprehensible friendship. But for today it is not known for certain why the fish pilot and shark spend their whole lives shoulder to shoulder.
Myths and legends
And there are many versions. To separate the wheat from the chaff, you need to understand where the name came from. What is a pilot? Fish in fact was so named casually. In marine terminology, this word means a boatmaster who is familiar with the underwater terrain and is able to plot a course. Most likely, the name of this fish is due to one of the most important misconceptions, which says: a fish pilot accompanies a visually impaired shark, helping to find food and avoid dangers. For this, they say, the shark and allows its little striped escort to pick up the crumbs from her royal table.
There is another version. According to her, the pilot eats shark feces or parasites attached to her skin.
Perhaps the shark is only for protection? This version has neither proof nor refutation. The shark does not rush to protect the pilots, and it is unlikely that anyone will be able to attack the satellites of a dangerous predator. But this assumption also raises one question: why does not the shark try to regale pilots? After all, this fish is edible, tasty and quite comparable to other prey that makes up the diet of sharks.
And the pilot - a fish, which is often confused withstuck. A lot is known about the relationship between the prilipala and the shark. Of course, they can not be called parasitism, because they do not cause harm to the shark. But the fact that one fish simply lives at the expense of the second, does not cause disputes. She can not even walk. Pilots are not riders, they just float nearby.
Although science does not know for certain thatconnects sharks and fish-pilots, but scientists know for sure what exactly is not and can not be. The version of navigational functions is untenable, if only because sharks are simply enviable sight, and smell is even better, they are perfectly oriented even in troubled waters.
Version of eating scraps (and even more soparasites and feces) is even more unfounded. The stomachs of the pilots were examined more than once, and for a long time scientists have observed their behavior. Cruising alongside the shark, pilots periodically pick up a zazyvavshuyusya fishes or crustaceans and eat them.
Even scientists have established that if a shark engages the enemy or becomes a prey of hunters, the striped train leaves it instantly, and then proceeds to search for a new patroness.
Other strange friends
Pilot - a fish that "friends" not only with the mosta dangerous predator of the ocean. Often, divers find it in the company of huge turtles, rays, other large marine inhabitants. Scientists examine their behavior, trying to unravel the mystery of this strange coexistence, which is not a symbiosis either - after all, neither side receives any obvious benefit. But so far they have much more questions than answers.
What makes these nimble striped fishes to accompany other marine creatures? For the present, the underwater world is not in a hurry to reveal its secrets to us.