Tag Archives: Fish

Roman Mosaics Demonstrate Shrinking Fish

Archaeologists studying Roman mosaics believe that they have identified a popular eating fish, the Dusky Grouper, has significantly shrunk in size over the centuries.

“These representations suggest that groupers were, in ancient times, so large as to be portrayed as sea monsters and that their habitat use and depth distribution have shifted in historical times.”

To learn more about this ichthyological discovery, see the story in Discovery News.

More on the Roman Grado Shipwreck

Discovery News has written more about the Roman Shipwreck (termed the Grado wreck) off the coast of Italy. I wrote about the shipwreck in an earlier post: “Shipwreck Had Onboard Fish Tanks.” The wreck seems to support historical accounts that the Romans transported live fish across the sea.

the scientist and historian Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 A.D.), wrote that live parrotfish were shipped from the Black Sea to the Neapolitan coast in order to introduce the species into the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Read more about the story in this Discovery News Article and view the photographs here.

Roman Shipwreck Had Onboard Fish Tanks

Excavations of the Grabo wreck, off the coast of Italy, have revealed that the ship possessed an ingenious system for keeping live fish on board in tanks. A section of lead pipe found onboard belonged to a pumping mechanism that kept oxygenated water circulating through the tanks – key to sustaining live fish.

The wreck was discovered in 1986 but not excavated until 1999. Archaeologists and scholars are still learning by analyzing the remains. You can read about this finding and more about the Grabo wreck in this month’s Nature Magazine or at Scientific American.

For an update, read my post “More on the Roman Grado Shipwreck.”