Book Review in Nature

Nature Journal Logo #2

What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins

Jonathan Balcombe Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2016)
ISBN: 9780374288211

Click to buy the book on

More than 30,000 species of fish — about half of all vertebrates — roam global waters. And as ethologist Jonathan Balcombe notes in this engrossing study, breakthroughs are revealing sophisticated piscine behaviours.

Balcombe glides from perception and cognition to tool use, pausing at marvels such as ocular migration in flounders and the capacity of the frillfin goby (Bathygobius soporator) to memorize the topography of the intertidal zone.

Yet, he argues, the over-exploitation of wild stocks, notably of apex predators such as tuna, points to the need for change on moral as well as ecological grounds.

Click to buy the book on
Click to buy the book on

To read review in Nature, please click here