Science – It’s What’s for Dinner

Christopher surveys the first plate

I was just finishing up dinner, dipping the last of my southern-style chicken tenders into what was left of my bowl of tomato soup when Mike came around the counter and handed a plate to Christopher, the AMLR team’s guy-in-charge-of-vertebrate-studies (a.k.a. our Fish Head).

“These are the small ones – I got three, four more of y’all’s icefish in back there, still in the batter.” (There’s no way to capture Mike’s distinctive accent here)

Christopher was psyched; the rest of us were puzzled. But he set the irregular, elongated deep-fried bundles of mystery down on the table in front of us, assumed a professorial air, and explained.

These were Cryodraco antarcticus. Icefish, particular to the southern ocean. Bottom dwellers. And tasty. They came up with the last trawl and, once they’d been measured, weighed and had their insides examined in the way of all fish we pull up with the trawl, it would have been a shame to just toss their remains over the side.

Now we were all psyched. I was completely full, but as we took turns cutting off little bits and Mike brought the rest of them to the table, I learned to ignore the protestations of my voice of moderation – these were wonderful.

Word spread as newcomers came to the table.

“What’s that?”

“Icefish. Came up with the last trawl. Perks of doing marine science.”

The explanation, as explanations are wont, was streamlined further with each iteration; by the time Cliff came in it was down to

“What’cha eating?”

“Science Fish!”

And science never tasted so good.

Barry goes after the crumbs

(And yes, “Cryodraco antarcticus” translates to “frozen Antarctic dragon”, which just makes it all the cooler.)

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