Archive for May 23rd, 2008


Cutthroat Variations

May 23, 2008

When the cut-throat isn’t occupied in crime,
He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling…
-Sir William Schwenck Gilbert, The Pirates of Penzance 

I’ve been thinking about the slash.

Maybe it’s about dominance.  Or attraction between the genders.  Or identification. Or a warning.  

It’s not camouflage.  It can’t help the fish swim faster or find food more efficiently.  It doesn’t mean they’re poisonous.  It’s just a striking pigment variation that occurs beneath the gill plates which underwater would never even be seen by other fish.

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the slash exists for me.