Catfish – a species of fish that can be found in several places around the globe. They’re popular when it comes to fishing for sport and fishing for food. Catfish, despite their names, have close to no semblance to the cats that we know of. They have small beady eyes that seem to stare back and slimy spiky skins that injure when handled improperly. Indeed, they’re nothing like those cute and cuddly cats that we love so much. The only reason why they’re dubbed as ‘catfish’ is actually due to their barbels, those whiskers on their faces that closely resemble that of a cat’s.
There are many species of catfish, ranging from giant catfishes to those little parasitic catfishes. One thing’s common to all of them, though, they have no scales. Catfish are separated into two distinct categories – the armored type and the naked type. The armored catfish have strong exoskeletons, bony plates that protect their bodies from predators. Some naked type catfishes have specialized endothelial tissues that allow them to breathe through their skin.
Their barbels, which practically gave them their name, are used for detecting food. Their barbels are sort of like feelers. And the catfish rely more on their barbels rather than their eyes, which explains why they have heir small beady eyes. Some catfish can have up to four pairs of barbels. But there are others who only have one pair. It all depends on what their specie is, really.
Catfishes have many commercial uses. Perhaps the most popular of which is their use for the food industry. Catfish caught in the wild are popular ingredients for meals and dishes. Catfish can also be farmed, especially in places where the climate is warm. Farming catfish is an easy and inexpensive way to generate revenue. However, you have to make sure that the tank where you place them will be closed off from the rivers and seas since the waste products of the catfish should never be spread.
But the use of catfish is not limited to food only. Catfish are also important additions to any aquarium, especially those of the genus corycodas.