I know that males of various species get a bit carried away sometimes when mating season is upon them. Some male antelopes and goats fling themselves vigorously at each others heads (check out the Ibex here – nutters, quite literally). Baboons bite and scratch their rivals. Elephant seals quite literally try to drown one another. And Gary takes on all comers in the car park of the Red Lion in Maidstone.
But step… er… swim forward the Evil Eye Pufferfish (Amblyrhynchotes honckenii):
Looks harmless enough, but is actually completely filled with rage and potent neurotoxins. Which isn’t generally a problem for us landlubbers until literally shedloads of the little buggers get washed up on the local beaches. It’s happening now. More than 200kg of them so far. That are a lot of Pufferfishes. Here’s the City of Cape Town press release.
And it’s that press release that gives us one reason that male Evileye Pufferfishes might be washing up on the shorelines here:
These include mass courtship; spawning and fighting which sees the male pufferfish inflate themselves, and then sometimes get rolled or blown out of the water by waves and/or wind.
u wot m8?
Ibexes have horns and specially strengthened skulls. Baboons know when to back down. Elephant seals can remain underwater for an hour and a half. Gary gets told to piss off by the landlord. None of them are stupid enough to get all big and blown up to try and court da laydees only to then drift immediately, embarrassingly and uncontrollably onto dry land (a very bad place to be if you are a fish) with their mates. Where they cause issues for dogs that eat them.
Toxic masculinity, I guess.
But seriously, how has that sort of behaviour managed to get this far through the evolutionary process? That’s not survival of the fittest – it’s survival of the least inflated. Let that be a lesson to you, Gary et al.:
Less is sometimes more.
And if there’s one other thing that we can learn from this whole episode, it’s that quite clearly, Evileye Pufferfish are Rubbish Fish.