The origin of…Fish

“The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.” Jim Hightower

Post 93 Fish

Fish are animals in the paraphyletic group of organisms that have gills and don´t have limbs with digits. The gills of the fish allow them to “breathe” underwater. Gills are made of threadlike structures (filaments) that have a capillary network with a large surface area so the fish can exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. They exchange gases by pulling oxygen-rich water through their mouths, over the gills. Most fish are cold-blooded (ectothermic), meaning that their body temperatures vary as temperatures around them change.

The first organisms that can be called fish were soft-bodied chordates (an animal of the large phylum Chordata) that started appearing during the Cambrian period (541 to 485.4 million years ago). These chordates did not have a spine, but a notochord (a cartilaginous skeletal rod) making them more flexible than invertebrates.
During the Paleozoic (541 to 252.17 million years ago) many fish developed an external armor to protect them from predators and during the Silurian period (443.8 to 419.2 years ago) the first fish with jaws appeared.

Fish have been an important food resource for people and have symbolic significance in many religions. In Christianity it is a symbol of Jesus, called the Ichthys. Early Christians used the fish as a secret code to identify meeting places, tombs, and other Christians. In Judaism fish are a symbol of fertility, because of their great fecundity (fish produce innumerable eggs).
In Arabic, the letter ‘N,’ pronounced ‘nun’, is the word for fish. In Islam, Al-Khid is known as the guide of Moses and Alexander the Great and is often portrayed as riding on the back of a fish over the “River of Life.” According to the Quran, the fish is a symbol of knowledge and eternal life.
In Hinduism Vishnu, the Supreme God of the Vaishnavism, had ten different avatars, or incarnations, on Earth. His first avatar, Matsya, is often shown as a fish or half man-half fish. Matsya appeared to Manu as a small fish and asked for protection. In return, he promises to help him survive a great flood. Matsya grows under Manu’s care and in the end Manu releases him into the ocean. When the epic flood comes, Matsya guides Manu’s boat to safety. When the flood subsides, Manu realizes he is the only survivor and in charge with repopulating the human race.
In Buddhism Ashtamangala are eight favorable signs of Buddha. Two golden fish is one of these symbols representing the offerings that the gods made to Buddha after his enlightenment.   The golden fish were originally associated with the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers, the two most sacred rivers in India. They represent living in a state of fearlessness, happiness, and fertility. As fish swim in water without fear of drowning, Buddha has no fear of drowning in the suffering cycle of Saṃsāra.

More info:

1. a cold-blooded animal that lives in water, breathes with gills, and usually has fins and scales
2. the meat of a fish eaten as food (source: Merriam Webster).

The English word fish comes from Old English fisc, fish, from Proto-Germanic *fiskaz, from Proto Indo European *peisk-, fish.
Dutch vis , Spanish pez and Italian pesce have the same roots.

Fish in other languages:
Dutch: de vis
Spanish: el pez
Italian: il pesce


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