Norfolk is a long way away from anywhere, and if I were you, I shouldn't start from here. By the time you get to the outskirts of Cromer, any distinctions between science, beachcombing, social commentary, writing and animal husbandry have started to blur. When the process is complete, you know you've arrived at the End Of The Pier Show. So, welcome. Find somewhere to park your unicycle. Pull up a girrafe chair. Make yourself comfortable.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Today's Mystery Fish For You To Identify

If GrrlScientist can do it with birds, then I can do it with fish. Just this once. There is, however, one difference (apart from the obvious one, that is). Whereas GrrlSicentist knows which bird it is before she sets the puzzle, I have absolutely no idea what sort of fish this is.

It's quite big - about 40cm long - and I found it washed up on Cromer East Beach as Canis croxorum and I took our lunchtime constitutional. I can't find it in my beachcomber's field guide, which covers the seashore and shallow seas of Europe, which suggests that I've skipped the relevant page, or that this is a species found in the open ocean. This pelagic habit is suggested by the laterally compressed shape, the depth of the body, the smooth, domed forehead and the rather rakish set of the median fins. That eye looks enormous, and that mean-looking piranha-like mouth was full of nasty sharp pointy teeth. The natural colour has probably faded from what was probably a silvery sparkle in life, and the ugly red blotch was probably caused by seagulls who got to it before I did.

So, people, you know what to do - Name That Fish!


  1. I think it's an Atlantic pomfret Brama brama. You'll be happy to hear that, according to FishBase, it is harmless to humans, despite its fierce looks..

  2. Thanks Steffi - I'm sure that's right. I hereby award you the order of the Unicycling Girrafe.

  3. Is that what pomfret cakes are really made of?

  4. Who knows? But if I were starving/ living on a desert island, I'd grill that carcass for my supper. Basically, a pomfret is a kind of sea bream, so it should taste delicious.

  5. Wow, the Order of the Unicycling Girrafe - I feel deeply honored, thank you!

  6. Would have commented earlier but unable to do so from work computer.

    Bit late now (congratulations Steffi), but I was going to say "ex-fish". Either it is deceased or maybe just "resting".