Fish eggs can survive and hatch after passing through a duck, providing one explanation of how seemingly pristine, isolated bodies of water can become stocked with fish

Fish Eggs Can Survive a Journey Through Both Ends of a Duck

In lakes and pools that appear physically cut off from other bodies of water, fish sometimes seem to materialize out of nowhere. This somewhat mystical sounding theory might not be far off: a new study suggests fish eggs may simply fall from the sky.

In experiments, some fish eggs hatched after being pooped out by ducks, suggesting that feathered flight could facilitate seemingly immaculate piscine invasions, reports Priyanka Runwal for Audubon.

How isolated waters become populated by fish has been an open question for centuries, Patricia Burkhardt-Holm, a fish biologist at the University of Basel, tells Carolyn Wilke of Science News.

As long ago as the 1800’s naturalists proposed that birds might have a hand (or a beak, foot or… Continue Reading (2 minute read)

13 thoughts on “Fish eggs can survive and hatch after passing through a duck, providing one explanation of how seemingly pristine, isolated bodies of water can become stocked with fish”

  1. icilypeaches

    That’s the most interesting thing I’ve read in months.

  2. m4ick

    I was at a friend’s house whose pool sat unmaintained for years and fish showed up. Someone said they wondered how fish eggs got there and I explained that birds don’t fully digest their food and bird poop can cause fish to show up in the pool.

    His response was “You know a bunch of useless information man.”….. after we just used the information.

  3. Rudeboy67

    Spirit Lake right by Mount St. Helens was completely devastated and all life in the lake was obliterated with the 1980 eruption. As early as 1993 they have been finding trout back in Spirit Lake. US Forestry Service was convinced, convinced, that anglers were illegally stocking the lake. They DNA typed the fish to find out what hatchery they came from and staked out the lake trying to catch them. No luck so far.

  4. bumjiggy

    the parents shipped them off to a private school

  5. mitch1691

    Could eggs get stuck on birds’ feet and be transported to another body of water?

  6. STEZN

    I always wondered about this!!! I knew a guy who filled a pond every summer but it was dry the rest of the year, by the end of summer there would be quite a few fish and it always confused me.

  7. Nuwisha_Nutjob

    I live near a nature reserve that has Vernal Pools. These ponds only have water after the rainy season and are dry most of the year. However, when they do fill up, they become teaming with life. Fairy brine shrimp, tadpoles, and small fish. Though the life there has adapted to the cycles of wet/dry seasons, it’s always been a mystery to me how brine shrimp and fish got into the vernal pools in the first place. The pools are located on top of a plateau made out of old volcanic rock, and are at too high an elevation for water to flow into them from a stream.

    However, ducks and other waterfowl frequent the pools when they are full. So this solves that mystery.

  8. the_burn_of_time

    If this is true, the you just explained a life long question of mine.

  9. DodkaVick

    This explains that time I ate caviar and left an upper decker in the host’s guest bathroom. A few weeks later they found guppies in the toilet tank.

  10. hekatonkhairez

    “I’ve seen things you fish wouldn’t believe. Duck intestines on fire after it ate discarded Cheeto’s. I watched eggs form in the dark near the cloaca Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

  11. adam_demamps_wingman

    Thank you so much for this. It finally explains a great deal.

  12. Choppergold

    Life uh….finds a way

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