Monday, March 14, 2011

Japanese Koi a Fish Formerly Known as Carp (Photo Essay)

This fish story isn't about wildlife. The Japanese Koi (Carp) is a domesticated creature. Not only that, it is a mutated critter, too.

Carp used to be a dark-colored fish, real dark brown or black. People way back in the 5th Century were raising them for food in China.

Sure enough, one day someone noticed every now and then a carp would show up with some different colors.  So, they start doing selective breeding, just fish among fish, I mean.  The guy probably watched.

Next thing you know, everybody wants to get in on the act and create designer fish.  This was way before TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES were even a twinkle in some person's eyes.

It was in the early 20th Century the rest of the world found out about these designer fish when some folks from Nigata, Japan showed their brightly-colored fish off at a Tokyo Exhibit.  Well, folks around the world shell out big bucks for fish formerly known as carp, only now, they're called Japanese Koi. People build ponds for them, mutated fish, and all they do is look at them.  They don't even eat them anymore and if you got caught with your fishing pole around somebody's Koi pond, you'd probably get arrested even if you had a fishing license. Dang !

Joke about it, as I may, raising Japanese Koi is serious business. When I researched this critter I found out the regular, old fashioned Carp is a Cyprinus carpio. 

And the carp from Prussia, called a Carassius gibelio got selective breeding giving the world goldfish.

But, if you try and figure out what the scientists call the different Japanese Koi for a Latin name, you're in for a full day's work. Then, you'd be getting into DNA and who done what so, I said the heck with that and decided I'd go check to see how much these critters are really worth.

Well, you can find pages and pages of reputable (I think) online dealers trying to get your credit card number. And that was enough to change my mind. 

It's not like I was trying to order some French perfume or anything.  So, I slammed the laptop shut and took a break.

Not to leave my readers hanging, I went back to see what else I could find that might interest you.  Look what I found.  There's a lot of free stuff, like articles to read but, if you really want to become an authority, you can enroll in a Ten Week Course at the KOI FISH SCHOOL .  Yup.

Now, they've got me wondering.  Like, if I was sure they'd put "Japanese Koi a fish formerly known as Carp" on my diploma, I could go for that !  Wouldn't you ?

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