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Page 14 - The Life of the Atlantic Cod

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/6/1 (290 reads)

potential food creatures. Crabs...bivalve shellfish...snails, small shrimps, and va? rious worms are available instead of the smaller floating creatures of the surface. Graham believes that many of the cod become weakened from lack of food while they are learning to change their feeding habits and fall prey to pollock, spiny dogfish, and other predatory fishes. The young cod find no refuge among their own kind.... Even cod that have grown to 7 or 8 inches may be greedily snatched up by adults." Brawn in conversation: "When you have young fish they're extremely colorful • there is a lot of red and browns, sometimes almost green flecks in them. And the habitat that they like will be rocks well-covered with seaweed • they'll be most of their time in among the waving fronds of seaweed. If you get a cod from an area of red weed they come out predominately red; if you get one from an area of green weed they come darker • they don't go really green but brown colors predominate. If fish come in different colors, very often they can adapt to a background • certain chromato- phores expand. The pattern on young cod is almost like a series of little squares on the side of the body. On the adult its a sort of cream background, just sort of mottled. You never see those squares in an adult • imless you get an adult that's badly frightened, so that he goes into that pressing down on the bottom posture with all fins pressed down • to my amazement under those conditions sometimes those black squares reappear. He needed concealment and he could still bring it back, to break up his outline. If he'd've been on big pebbles he would not have been as clearly seen. In any case, for the young cod, waving fronds of seaweed mean a rocky coast. But what they like to have is a strip of sand beside it where they go out and feed; because there they are getting the small crustaceans, some sand worms • a major source, something like shrimp • and they don't dare go far from shelter. This is in their first year." While the mature cod is primarily a fish eater, Powles did not find traces of fish in the stomach of any cod smaller than 19 centimeters (a- bout 7.5 inches). Small crustaceans made up the greater part of their diet. The vol? ume of fish increased with the size of the cod, and as the volume of fish increased the volume of crustaceans dropped. "Molluscs contributed a great deal to the diet of the large cod, and they reached their peak importance in fish 51 to 70 cm. long." (20-27.5 inches) The cod eats a widely varied diet including jellyfish, squid, the common brittle star, the hermit crab, the whelk and clams and segmented worms • and fish. Fish is the most important part of the diet of the large cod and herring, fol? lowed by capelin, is the most important fish. The variety of foods require a variety of behavioural adaptations in locating food. He can locate food in midwater by vi? sion and smell. Drawn by the smell alone, cod will dig effectively among stones to Radiator & Cylinder Heads CAPE BRETON AUTO RADIATOR PHONE 564-6362 339 Rear Welton Street Sydney, N.S. Town and Country RESTAURANT Red ond White FOOD STORES Baddeck Port Hawkesbury Sydney River & Glace Bay Port Hawkesbury 'peedy Propane PIIXIN3 STATIONS: j' B. Benoit, Arichat Robin's, Cheticamp MacGregor's Texaco, Pleasant Bay Prazier's Campground, Baddeck Lloyd Sheares Heating, Port aux Basques Crocker and Wills, Ltd., Comerbrook D. GOLDMAN & SONS LTD. "THL HO.ME OV UNK SKAFOOD" • Gallant Street Glace Bay • Terminal Bldg Sydney Airport
Cape Breton's Magazine
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