Fish Have What?



 They say you learn something new every day and here’s what I learned from the Minnesota DNR.

Q: Humans and fish are similar in that they rely on the senses of taste, smell, sight, hear and touch to live and cope with their surroundings. However, fish also have a sixth sense. What is it?

A: Fish have a built-in motion detector called the lateral line, a row of tiny holes that run along each side of the body. The sensitive hairs inside each hole help detect the location and direction of vibrations in the water. This is especially important to anglers. The sound and movement of bait in the water attracts attention. Once at an anglers lure, fish will use their other five senses to determine if the bait is something that sounds like, feels like, looks like, smells like and tastes like something they might usually eat. While the lateral line helps fish find a meal, it keeps them avoid becoming one, too. The lateral line also enables a school of fish swim together without bumping into each other.

– Jenifer Matthees, DNR aquatic education supervisor