Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Do Fish Get Drunk?

Do Fish Get Drunk?

Hey everyone! Ocean conservation and marine
life expert Jaclyn Friedlander here and today we are going to talk about drunk sea animals. Let’s start with the tiniest ocean creatures,
plankton. Plankton: the small and microscopic organisms drifting or floating in the sea
or fresh water, consisting chiefly of diatoms, protozoans, small crustaceans, and the eggs
and larval stages of larger animals. It turns out that tiny plankton sometimes
ingest toxic algae and get drunk! When they do, according to scientists, they act crazy
and reckless. Crazy and reckless for them is the exact opposite of what you would imagine.
When they are sober, plankton often behave like this diatom. They swim in erratic patterns
and don’t move too quickly. When they get drunk, however, the tiny party plankton get
swim faster and in a straight line. While they would be able to pass a human sobriety
test in this manner, it is actually very dangers and reckless for them. The faster and more
straight they swim the more likely they are to get eaten by predators. Many larger animals
have adapted to filter feed so they suck in water, keep in the plankton and spit out the
rest of the water. Drunk plankton swims quickly directly into the mouths of these larger creatures. Do larger fish get drunk? They sure do! Unfortunately
it’s not a good thing and the cause is even worse. Ocean acidification, caused by human
pollutants is causing the carbon monoxide levels in the ocean to rise and that in turn
is causing fish a problem called hypercapnia. Hypercapnia: excessive carbon dioxide in the
bloodstream, typically caused by lack of clean oxygen and difficulty breathing. When a fish
is under the influence of hypercapnia they have been observed by scientist to be disoriented,
swim away from the surface instead of towards it to try and get a breath of oxygen and for
some species it is contributing to and negatively affecting their migratory patterns. So the conclusion is that yes, sea animals
absolutely get drunk and the result is not a positive one. If you want weekly ocean and conservation
information click subscribe. See you next Friends with Fins Friday! Thanks for watching.

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