NANFA-- speaking of bowfin lore...

Christopher Scharpf (
Thu, 20 Dec 2001 15:34:04 -0400

Here's one bowfin story that is presumably true:

As many of you know, bowfin males are overprotective parents. In fact, the
many accounts of bowfin aggressiveness are based on males violently guarding
their nests and fry. But this one extreme case of bowfin aggression really
takes the cake:

A young Maryland herpetologist named Howard Kelly who was collecting snakes
in Florida at the time (1924), reported being "attacked" by a 14-inch male
bowfin that was guarding 30-40 fry. According to Kelly, the bowfin actually
propelled itself eight inches out of the water and up a slightly sloping
grassy bank several times!

I know of no other report of a fish leaving the water of its own volition to
attack a man on land.

Chris Scharpf

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