True Facts: Fish That Suck

Go to use code zefrank and get 25% off when you sign up!

sponsor music:

Thanks to:
Dr Peter Wainwright, UC Davis
Dr Brooke Flammang, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Dr Udo Savalli, Arizona State University
Dr Jamie Seymour, James Cook University
Dr Shinji Sugiura, Kobe University
& all the scientists who have made their research Open Access.

Save Our Seas,


Chiale MC, et al. Biochemical and morphological features of the uropygial gland of the Chilean Flamingo and their functional implications. Zoology (Jena). 2021 Aug;147:125941. doi: 10.1016/j.zool.2021.125941.

Flammang BE, et al. Remoras pick where they stick on blue whales. J Exp Biol. 2020 Oct 28;223(Pt 20):jeb226654. doi: 10.1242/jeb.226654.

Flammang, B.E., Kenaley, C.P. Remora cranial vein morphology and its functional implications for attachment. Sci Rep 7, 5914 (2017).

Fontes J, et al. Hitchhiking to the abyss. Ecol Evol. 2023 May 28;13(5):e10126. doi: 10.1002/ece3.10126.

Fraser GJ, et al. An ancient gene network is co-opted for teeth on old and new jaws. PLoS Biol. 2009 Feb 10;7(2):e31. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000031.

Gavelis GS, et al. Microbial arms race: Ballistic “nematocysts” in dinoflagellates represent a new extreme in organelle complexity. Sci Adv. 2017 Mar 31;3(3):e1602552. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1602552.

Gibb, Alice C. Et al. The Teleost Intramandibular Joint: A mechanism That Allows Fish to Obtain Prey Unavailable to Suction Feeders, Integrative and Comparative Biology, Volume 55, Issue 1, July 2015, Pages 85–96,

Hsieh ST. A locomotor innovation enables water-land transition in a marine fish. PLoS One. 2010 Jun 18;5(6):e11197. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011197.

Huertas V, Bellwood DR. Mucus-secreting lips offer protection to suction-feeding corallivorous fishes. Curr Biol. 2017 Jun 5;27(11):R406-R407. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.04.056.

Kutschera, U., Elliott, J.M. Do mudskippers and lungfishes elucidate the early evolution of four-limbed vertebrates?. Evo Edu Outreach 6, 8 (2013).

Martínez-Renau, et al. Coloration of spotless starling nestlings shows genetic and environmentally determined characteristics while begging for food. Funct Ecol. 2021; 35: 499–510.

Mehta RS, Wainwright PC. Raptorial jaws in the throat help moray eels swallow large prey. Nature. 2007 Sep 6;449(7158):79-82. doi: 10.1038/nature06062.

Soler JJ, et al. Made-up mouths with preen oil reveal genetic and phenotypic conditions of starling nestlings. Behav Ecol. 2022 Apr 4;33(3):494-503. doi: 10.1093/beheco/arac024.

Sugiura, Shinji. Active escape of prey from predator vent via the digestive tract, Current Biology, Volume 30, Issue 15, 2020, Pages R867-R868, ISSN 0960-9822,

Silva-Jr, José Martins & Ivan Sazima. Whalesuckers on spinner dolphins: an underwater view, Marine Biodiversity Records, December 2007. DOI:10.1017/S1755267206002016

Solleliet-Ferreira, S., Macena, B., Laglbauer, B. et al. Sicklefin devilray and common remora prey jointly on baitfish. Environ Biol Fish 103, 993–1000 (2020).

van Overveld T, de la Riva M, Donázar JA. Cosmetic coloration in Egyptian vultures: Mud bathing as a tool for social communication? Ecology. 2017 Aug;98(8):2216-2218. doi: 10.1002/ecy.1840.

Weihs, Daniel, Frank E. Fish, and Anthony J. Nicastro. MECHANICS OF REMORA REMOVAL BY DOLPHIN SPINNING, MARINE MAMMAL SCIENCE, 23(3): 707–714 (July 2007), DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2007.00131.x.

Weller HI, et al. An XROMM Study of Food Transport and Swallowing in Channel Catfish. Integr Org Biol. 2020 Jun 19;2(1):obaa018. doi: 10.1093/iob/obaa018.

Wang, Siqi, et al. Detachment of the remora suckerfish disc: kinematics and a bio-inspired robotic model, Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Volume 15, Number 5, 2020, DOI 10.1088/1748-3190/ab9418.

Westneat MW, Wainwright PC. Feeding mechanism of Epibulus insidiator (Labridae; Teleostei): Evolution of a novel functional system. J Morphol. 1989 Nov;202(2):129-150. doi: 10.1002/jmor.1052020202.

WINGFIELD, J.C., et al. (2000), Biology of a critically endangered species, the Toki (Japanese Crested Ibis) Nipponia nippon. Ibis, 142: 1-11.


  1. Go to and get 25% off when you sign up! Use CODE: zefrank

  2. “an elephant shitload of parts”

    I’m using that

  3. Absolutely genius.

  4. I love the idea that someone went “i need to know how starlings choose” and someone else was like, yeah, I’ll fund that 😂

  5. What does Reggie do when he gets eaten? He runs around until he’s all pooped out.


  7. this is INSANE!!!! What would I do without Ze? WHAT?!!

  8. Okay I swear I am laughing in less than a minute into every video you make. Also learning!

  9. It seems Jerry has hidden talents. Ones which I hope stayshidden from me.

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