back to article TROUT and EELS in SINISTER PACT to RULE the oceans

Boffins have observed a worrying alliance between trout and eels, which have joined forces to launch a sea-had (jihad, geddit?) against other ocean-dwelling species. Cooperation is as rare in the animal kingdom as it is in the United one, so fish-folk at the University of Cambridge were astonished to see two different …

  1. Cliff


    News like this gives me hope for the future of us all. The sooner mankind stops thinking we're somehow unique and superior to the rest of life on the planet, hopefully we'll be more considerate and less destructive. I hope at least.

    1. RockBurner

      Re: Hope

      Hardly - most politicos will just see them as another (albeit tasty) threat to their power base

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Hope

        Hardly - most politicos will just see them as another (albeit tasty) threat to their power base

        Hardly, they'll be trying to work out which party they'll support, and therefore whether they should be for or against giving them the vote.

    2. SundogUK

      Re: Hope

      "This study strengthens the case that a relatively small brain – compared to warm-blooded species – does not stop at least some fish species from possessing cognitive abilities that compare to or even surpass those of apes," Vail added.

      Absolute bollocks. There is no cognition going on here.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Hope

        Indeed. Nothing to see here, move along. Isn't that a new iShiney over there? If you're quick you can buy one. Meatbag,

  2. Gray Ham

    I smell something fishy ...

    I'll bet a couple of squid this is a red herring ...

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: I smell something fishy ...

      I trout it very much.

      1. AbelSoul

        Re: I trout it very much.

        What an eel-conceived comment.

        1. wowfood

          Re: I trout it very much.

          Oh don't be so crabby.

    2. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: I smell something fishy ...

      All these fish puns are giving me a haddock.

      1. Gray Ham

        Re: I smell something fishy ...

        Try taking some cod-eine

        1. Martin Budden

          Re: I smell something fishy ...

          Puns are never out of plaice on El Reg.

    3. Marcus Aurelius

      Re: I smell something fishy ...

      I think it's an eely good idea.

      If the fish doesn't get any food, does it have a trout pout?

      I just thought I would add another slippery pun or two...

  3. Tim Roberts 1

    always knew ...

    ... them slimy little fuckers were up to something. All that wriggling around in the mud and coming up to gulp MY air.

  4. umacf24

    Both edible

    Just saying.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Both edible

      The only natural predator of Eels are the Cockneys.

      Someone remind me of where El Reg is based again?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Both edible

        Eels up inside ya findin' an entrance where they can.

        boring through ya mind through ya tummy through yer anus


  5. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Interesting story

    However coral trout != trout. They are hardly related (OK, both are fish), and I would certainly not prepare them in the same way. Both are delicous, however.

  6. Ben Bonsall

    The trout can spot a fake eel, but can the eel spot a trout mask replica?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      only a very very old one!

    2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Only the ones with a beefy heart can...

  7. 0laf Silver badge

    I for one welcome our new fishy overlords

  8. kryptonaut
    1. AbelSoul
      Thumb Up

      Re: Eels - Up inside yer

      Ah, The Mighty Boosh.

      Proper telly.

      They don't make 'em like that any more....

      <<drifts off into wistful nostalgia about Old Greig and his Mangina.>>

  9. Anomalous Cowshed

    Beware mutant fish!

    Mutant brainy fish capable of cooperating together? This is clearly the outcome of the Fukushima nuclear disaster! And mark, this is happening just a couple of years after the event. If they go on improving themselves at this rate, they will soon become cleverer than us and then...

    Of course it would be comforting, but foolish to assume that this disaster in the making is confined to trouts: watch out, O people! Here come the cleverest sharks you've ever seen, with naturally developed laser mounts, to rule the seas; massive, armoured mosquitoes able to fly through concrete walls; slugs with brains running at no less than 25 Petaflops. Giant spiders that are able to argue the philosophical implications of your forthcoming demise in ways far beyond your comprehension while preparing to eat you...

  10. Nicholas Nada


    ...the Eel Trout Alliance.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: ETA

      Ah yes, the most regular terrorists. Their bombs always go off when predicted.

      ...I think I'll join you in the cloakroom, and fetch my coat too... Although I must stop to praise El Reg for the Eel IRA.

      1. dotdavid

        Re: ETA

        "Ah yes, the most regular terrorists. Their bombs always go off when predicted."

        Except the "Microsoft file copy dialog team" and "National Rail" cells, who keep pushing back the predicted time.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: ETA

          Except the "Microsoft file copy dialog team" and "National Rail" cells, who keep pushing back the predicted time.

          I was copying some files onto a friends' PC for him the other day. About 5GB. The dialogue popped up saying 20 mins. Fair enough, it's only USB. Then it suddenly changed to "time to copy: 3 days". Erk!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: ETA

            I remember installing a game on win95 and being confused as hell by the windows installer back then as well as the timer.

            "Installing 10%, 11%, 10% 9%" wait what?

            I left teh install running and went back to it, it was still flicking between 9 and 11%, then jumped to 99%... Confused the ehck out of a young me.

    2. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: ETA


      I was trying to go for an ETA/Wetter pun but couldn't find it so I'll leave with: eel-Qaeda

      1. wowfood

        Re: ETA

        I quite like the idea of a Trout Eel alliance. Or TEA for short.

        1. proto-robbie

          Re: ETA

          l33t rout.

  11. liquorvicar


    A Beefheart reference on The Register, and before 9.30am. Good stuff man!

  12. i like crisps
    Thumb Up


    Just add the word MEGA before TROUT & EEL and voila a movie cash cow is born......hands off, i thought of it first.

  13. Whiskers

    I wonder if dogs domesticated humans by starting with a similar ploy?

  14. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    What's in it for the eel? Or does it just help out of eel-truism?

  15. Oh Homer

    Still no match for a pike

    Sneaky bastards.

  16. wolfetone Silver badge

    One fishes terrorist

    Is another fishes freedom fryer.

  17. Lars Silver badge

    Romantic boffins

    The eels know the trouts are better at spotting pray so they just wait around to have a chance. Been like that for a billion years. Exploiting rather than cooperating. eel better now.

  18. MrT

    I am The Shadow, and I never miss...

    "Beau Brummel in purple pants probe." "King talks to tree. Phew! What a loony."

    ”Oi, moray! There's a tasty fish in that crevice, be a good chap and ferret it out for me would you?”

    God, the Times New Scientist has really gone downhill recently.

  19. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Instead of ISIS--ESES!!

    Eels Seeking Extra Snacks

  20. Chris G Silver badge

    Smoking seaweed?

    Or something else?

    It sounds as though these researchers have gotten a little carried away with their speculation based on their observation.

    As far as I am aware cognitive behaviour require a fair bit of processing ability; this sounds more like evolved behaviour patterns.

    When the trout has found prey and is unable to reach it, perhaps it has a particular behavioural trait which over time the eels have come to equate with the presence of prey that they can reach. Clearly the trout are not a threat to the eels so they are just using a form of opportunism as a hunting/food sourcing ploy. Obviously if the eel chases the prey out of the crevice before it can eat it, the waiting trout will grab it.

    Where was it they had a jaunt to, to indulge in this shaky science?

    1. Manolo

      Re: Smoking seaweed?

      You are spot on. Rather than "intelligent" behaviour, this sounds like opportunistic hunting, a quite common behaviour under water. I have seen jacks swimming with sharks and stingrays, hoping to catch some morsels (from the sharks) or small fry (stirred up by the rays). Once I observed a jack that had turned yellow (which I didn't know they were able to do) to blend in in a school of grunts.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its a moray!

  22. PhilipN Silver badge

    ".. chimpanzees, which are humanity's closest relatives .."

    Ah yes. From my observations at least one step closer than my in-laws.

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