Do you ever have random weird, and funny thoughts about how bizarre the world around you is? Do whales fart? Do Dolphins sneeze?
These questions elicit your curiosity about animals that display human characteristics. Fish-related questions have been the most common type of question on my mind lately.
Well, I have tried to make such questions fun by compiling answers to the most widely-asked ones. Do fish sneeze? Do fish cough? Can a fish fart? Well, read along to find out!
Do Fish Sneeze?
It’s a common misconception that fish can sneeze because they have a nose and breathe. I don’t intend to burst your (water) bubble, but fish don’t sneeze.
Many mechanisms must occur before a human or any other animal sneezes. The first stage of a sneeze is the irritation of the mucous lining present in your nasal passage. This might be caused by inhaling gas particles, dust, or smells.
Humans also sneeze when you are sick. This is because your immune system wants to force out the virus by secreting mucus in your nose.
After this irritation, the brain gets a signal from your nose. And as soon as it does, your brain commands your diaphragm to spasm. This enables your lungs to expel air through your nose and mouth. Finally, the irritant gets forced out of your nasal passage.
Let’s not forget that fish have nostrils and gills in place of lungs. Thus, fish can’t sneeze, as they don’t breathe air from their gills.
Do Fish Cough?
Now that you know if fish can sneeze, let me answer whether fish can cough. Yes, a fish can cough. Fish take in water through gills to extract oxygen from the ocean to breathe. They cough when a different kind of gas or particle gets stuck between their gills.
Animals living on land cough for many reasons, like when they’re unwell. Cats and dogs also cough to shake off a hairball that may have formed in their stomach. They also cough when they inhale anything, like smoke.
Cats and dogs are not the only animals that cough. Humans cough too, for many reasons – like when they are unwell or have a cold, or if they have consumed something that went down the wrong way.
Why does a fish cough in the first place? Fish use their gills to extract oxygen from water. During respiration, it’s likely for bacteria or particles to suck in through the gills.
For a moment, stop thinking of fish as a different species and think of them as humans. Just like we inhale some particles or bacteria sometimes while breathing, they do too. To clear this debris, our bodies cough, or it gets prompted to cough. This is also exactly why fishes cough.
A fish jerks its body whenever an object gets stuck in its gill to make it fall. Individuals who own aquariums or visit them a lot might notice fish coughing.
What Do Fish Look Like When they Cough?
When a fish coughs, it opens its mouth as a normal human being does. It then pushes out the water through its gills instead of its mouth. Fish jerk themselves in an up and down movement to force themselves to cough.
Also, before your mind jumps to another question, let me clear out a common doubt. No, fish don’t make a sound when they cough; you won’t be able to hear anything. Please don’t go around sticking your ear to your fish tank to hear a sound every time your fish coughs!
Can Fish Fart?
No, fish can’t fart. Although a fish’s anatomy consists of anus and an excretory system, it can’t fart. Farting happens because your intestines are releasing air and gas out of your anus.
But, a fish’s intestinal system doesn’t have any air and gas within it. Water runs through their intestines. Some individuals claim that they see their fish fart because of some bubbles they notice. These bubbles are from your fish’s mouth or gills, not their anus.
Can Fish Burp?
Yes, fishes generally burp. Not every fish has the ability to burp, but some can. When a fish wants to burp, it expels water from its stomach, but it does remove gases like mammals and humans.
Scientists only speculated some years ago whether fish could burp. You might get surprised to know that fish not only burp but have burps that are quite loud! When fish burp, there is a rattling sound that resonates.
Why did it take so long for scientists to figure out this amazing and funny fact? Well, fish don’t burp with their mouths wide open. There’s only a slight gap between their lips when they open their mouth, so there’s no sign of them doing the deed.
Can Fish Choke?
No, fish can’t choke. For animals to choke, they need a trachea and consume something so large that it gets stuck in the trachea. This object then needs to block the airway.
Fish don’t have a trachea, and nor do they breathe through the lungs. Thus, they can’t choke the same way mammals, and humans do. But, this doesn’t mean that fish can eat large chunks of food without serious consequences.
If fish eat huge pieces of food or another large fish, the food gets stuck in their throats. The chunk of food won’t get cleared even if the fish thrashes.
Additionally, if the object is too wide, it will also prevent fish from closing their mouths. This will result in fish not being able to contract their gills to intake water. If they don’t do this, they suffocate. Nature can be terrifying sometimes!
This is why it is suggested to give pet fishes tiny or crushed up food.
Do Fish Itch?
Yes, fish get itchy irritation, kind of. Long story short, fish scratch their itch by scrubbing themselves against sharp surfaces. Much like we do!
While this may seem cute to you, it is worth mentioning that your fish may also be infected by a nasty parasite that it might be trying to get rid of by itching. Be aware of this symptom, and take prompt action to cure your fish of the parasite.
Who knew fish would be so like us? I hope I answered all your questions related to fish and their processes. Keep asking such whacky questions! They’re the ones that end up having the most interesting answers!