Thursday, May 20, 2004

Science flaw in “Finding Nemo”

Via, I found the following fact item (a biologist's Mother’s Day posting):

2. Happy Mother's Day, to the one some of my siblings call dad

For simultaneous hermaphrodites that don't self-fertilize and sequential hermaphrodites who have turned female after first being male.
. . . .
An individual sequential hermaphrodite can be either male or female, but never both at the same time. These organisms are either born male or female, and depending on the environmental conditions around them can turn into the opposite sex. Sequential hermaphrodites that are born male are called protandrous.

Clownfish, of Finding Nemo fame, are a good example of a protandrous hermaphrodite: the largest individual fish in a group is female, the next smallest is the reproductive male, and the rest are typically non-reproductive. When the largest female is removed from the population the male becomes female, and a non-breeder becomes male. Thus, in Nemo's case Marlin (Nemo's father) should have turned into Marla once Coral (Nemo's mother) disappeared.

But the blog post above did miss one other important science flaw in the movie: fish can’t talk. I figured that one out by myself. Stay tuned to THIS website for still more, equally perceptive, science facts.

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