Do fish have tongues?
Some fish have tongues, but many don’t. Some fish tongues have teeth on them – not for chewing, but for helping the fish to swallow their prey. The teeth point backwards so that whatever is being swallowed can only go in one direction, so in other words it can only down the throat! It can’t go back against the pointy teeth.

Do fish ever get caught on coral or seaweed and drown?
Fish are really good at knowing their environment and knowing how to move around in it, so the answer is no – they don’t.

What is the largest fish in the world?
The whale shark is the largest fish in the world – by a long way! They live in the tropics and sub-tropics BUT someone saw a whale shark here at the Three Kings at the beginning of April! We’ve been looking – but sadly we haven’t seen it.

A whale shark - the world's largest fish. Disclaimer: this may not be a real one as the team hasn't spotted (or photographed) one in the Three Kings
A whale shark – the world’s largest fish. Disclaimer: this may not be a real one as the team hasn’t spotted (or photographed) one in the Three Kings

How deep can fish swim?
Fish have been recorded right at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, the deepest place in the world. But at that depth there is only one kind of fish, not lots of different kinds like you see at the surface.

How do fish sleep?
Most fish don’t sleep, although sometimes you can see them resting. Fish that come out at night hide during the day in dark crevices
and look like they’re resting in there. On one dive Jeremy saw a group of moki, that are fish that usually swim in mid-water, and they were all resting just above the sea floor, gently rocking back and forth with the current. At night some parrotfish that live on coral reefs make a mucus sleeping bag around themselves and rest inside that.

Are you stuck inside all day at the moment? What do you do while the weather is stormy?
While the weather was bad we had lots of work to do inside! Everyone was working on their computers, catching up on writing up all the data. It’s important to keep good records of everything we’ve done and everything that’s been collected so it was a good chance to get up-to-date with all that. It was also a good chance to catch up on sleep, as all this diving and living on a boat makes us quite tired.

Has the weather gotten any better? Can you go diving yet? Can you go diving in the rain?
Yes you can dive in the rain – it’s interesting looking up when you’re underwater and seeing the rain drops landing on the surface of the water.

Has there been any lightning and thunder?
Nothing as dramatic as that! Just lots of wind and rain and big seas.

Did anyone bring some activities to do?
No but we had lots of work to do – and there are lots and lots of books on the boat for us to read.

Has anyone got seasick?
Not really – we ‘ve been very lucky.

Do you miss your families yet?
We all miss our families, but luckily we can stay in touch with them back at home – we can send emails and talk on the phone, which is nice. What we can’t do is go on the internet, listen to the radio, watch TV or read a newspaper, so we have no idea what is happening in the big wide world. Our world is just the boat!

Before the rain, did you get any good views of the Three Kings Islands?
Yes we had some great views – the Princes Islands were very steep and rocky and had big gannet colonies on the top of them. Great Island is much bigger and has a forest on top of it, with bellbirds in it that we can just sort-of hear above the sound of crashing waves.

Have you had any problems with the toilet yet?
Yes but only minor problems. The buttons keep sticking down after we flush, and because it’s not like a town toilet what happens is the water gradually fills the toilet bowl and overflows. It doesn’t really matter that it overflows, though, as it’s just seawater. And
the water just drains out through the drains in the floor back out to sea – bathrooms on the boat have showers in them which are not in a shower cubicle like at home but are just a shower nozzle on the wall. When you have a shower the whole room gets wet, and it’s designed to be that way, so it’s not a problem.

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6 Responses to “Do fish have tongues? … and other questions”

  1. Quentin Bennett

    Have there been any sightings of Spotted black grouper? I have seen no references to them on the blogs, and worry that they may have been fished out.

    In my mind they are among the very special things that the Three Kings offers.

  2. Anne's Class

    Do other fish, not flying fish, ever jump out of the water? Can sharks do it?
    How fast do fish swim?
    How does sea water become salt?
    How many more days will you be out at sea?

  3. Christabel

    What is the name of the worlds largest fish?How long is the fish?
    Do fish only eat bait?What do they eat?
    Is there a world record of fish catching?How many fish/
    Is the weather fine now for you Vuys to have a dive?
    Have you found any treasure?
    How long do you think you will be there for?

    Hope you have a lovely and safe trip when you come back!!!!

    • Melanie Cooper

      Thanks for your questions Christabel. The team says the whale shark is by far the largest fish in the world. Fish definitely don’t just eat bait, otherwise they’d get really hungry in more isolated areas like the Three Kings! – they can eat plants (like some of the seaweeds we’ve shown you), tiny marine animals or other fish depending on their size. The crew has got back in to Tauranga tonight but if you live in Auckland this Wednesday you can meet some of the team, see some of the things they found on their expedition and ask them some more questions


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