On Board the Nautilus

I forgot to be amazed. I’m sure that’s the reason I get bored. But on board Nautilus, who can ever know ennui? Not me, probably. My daily commute is spiced up by Jules Verne’s company.  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, translated from French Vingt mille lieues sous les mers always overwhelms me with indescribable pleasure.

In chapter XIV, Jules did more than amuse readers with his description of underwater wonders, he taught lessons most people won’t bother learning, or won’t find time to learn. Through a character named Conseil, Jules briefly educates readers of basic fish classification. As most people know, fish is the fourth and last class of the subdivision of vertebrates, further they are subdivided into two classes:

1. Bony Fish – fish whose spinal column is made of bony vertebrae. It has six orders: (1) acantrophterygians, upper jaw is complete and mobile, and gills are shaped like comb, comprised three-fourths of fish known to man, e.g. common perch (2) abdominals, (3) subbrachians, (4)Apods, (5)lophobranchiates and lastly, (6)plectognathians. Click here for more info.

2. Cartilaginous Fish – fish whose spinal column is made of cartilaginous vertebrae, which has cyclostomes (e.g. lamprey) , selachians (e.g. ray and shark) and sturonians as sub-orders.

If you’re a fisherman or a gourmet, you may simply classify fish as either edible or not. Jules has enough sense of humor to use the character of Ned to put off Conseil’s impractical nerdiness . However, if you’re a modern-day Carl Linnaeus, I bet you’d enjoy Jules’ nerdy chapter on fish taxonomy.

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