According to Hap Fatzinger, aquarium curator at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, this is a question that has baffled mankind for ages.
There are theories, however.
Fatzinger said that if you see a single mullet jump, It could be caused by a parasite. The fish is trying to knock it off. Parasites are common on all kinds of fish. Some fish scratch the bottom, rub up against rocks or jump to knock them off.
If you see a whole school of mullet jumping, they’re probably trying to evade a predator.
“This isn’t scientific by any means,” Fatzinger said. The knowledge is derived from observation, conversations with other scientists and educated guesses.
“Or, maybe they’re not jumping for any reason. I mean, why does a humpback whale jump?” he said.
But, really, it’s anyone’s guess until someone invents the discipline of fish psychology.
Date posted: October 13, 2010
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