Friday, April 25, 2008

Red-Tailed Caturday

In advance of tomorrow here's a red-tail cat(fish), aka RTC or Phractocephalus hemioliopterus, lurking in a lilypond at Kew Gardens.


RTCs are large catfish getting up to about 4.5 feet long(ish) and they are personable and attractively marked as kittens making them a cool pet fish. Like many other cool pets (alligators, iguanas, sharks, snapping turtles, pacu - you know the sort of thing) they get less cool as they get bigger. In the case of the RTC this decrease in cool is marked by a tendency to eat tank mates, grow massive and having a wallet-damaging need to eat more fresh seafood than their owners. Which is why whenever you go to a public greenhouse with a pond, a public aquarium or indeed a pet fish shop with a large display tank you can bet good money you can see a red-tail cat someone has "donated" once they couldn't look after it anymore. They usually have cute names like George or Frank or occasionally Tom and Jerry or Sylvester. So remember kids, a Cat is for life, not just for kittenhood.

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