Trivia question for Mar-20-2011

Posted on Mar 20, 2011 in Trivia

Carter’s turn and he took a while to decide on which species to feature today.  He ended up with this one because of one particular fact he learned which he is incorporating in the trivia.  These fish are able to change their color which allows them to become almost invisible to unsuspecting prey.

These guys eat a variety of fish, especially schooling fish, such as sardines. Occasionally they eat squid and cuttlefish. Their predators are sharks, like the dusky shark, and other large bony fish.  These fish are coastal fish, found on the coasts of Africa, South East Asia, New Zealand, Australia, the coasts of Japan, and on the coasts of Europe. They live near the seabed, living in depths from 5 meters (15 ft) to 360 meters (1200 ft). They are normally solitary.

So here are Carter’s questions:  What is this fish called and tell us the legend which describes how this fish got its large spot on its side.  Also, tell us how this relatively slow swimming fish is able to catch its prey so effectively?

Good Luck 😉


Wow, that was fast.  Congratulations to Rich for so quickly identifying the fish we featured and for getting all the answers correctly.  Awesome job.  The fish we profiled is the John Dories.

John Dory, is also known as St Pierre. Various explanations are given of the origin of the name. It may be an arbitrary or jocular variation of dory (itself from the French dorée, gilded), or perhaps an allusion to John Dory, the hero of an old ballad. Others suggest that “John” derives from the French jaune, yellow.

The novel An Antarctic Mystery by Jules Verne gives another account, which has some popularity but is probably fanciful: “The legendary etymology of this piscatorial designation is Janitore, the “door-keeper,” in allusion to St. Peter, who brought a fish said to be of that species, to our Lord at His command.” (St. Peter is said to be keeper of the gates of Heaven.) A related legend says that the dark spot on the fish’s flank is St. Peter’s thumbprint.

The dark spot on their side is used to flash an ‘evil eye’ if danger approaches the John Dory. The John Dory’s eye spot on the side of its body also confuses prey, which are scooped up in its big mouth.

John Dories do not need to be too fast because they have the ability to extend their mouths forward well beyond the expected reach of most fish so they tend to surprise their victims.  Here is more on these different looking fish: John Dories

Thanks for playing along 😉