Have some respect for the puffer fish
It’s time to respect the Japanese puffer fish. It nearly killed Homer Simpson, and now PZ Meyers suggests that it has the edge on us when it comes to its genome:
Our DNA contains approximately 3.2 billion base pairs, about the amount of information that can be stored on a single CD, but only about 5 percent of that information plays a significant role in constructing the human form. Our human CD contains, in effect, the equivalent of one really good, but short, pop song, with the rest of the tracks being staticky hisses, noise, and repetitions of the same short phrase, over and over again.
The Japanese puffer fish however has a genome one third the size of ours, and uses a full third of it for its genetic makeup. So while our human CD is the equivalent of a Girls Aloud 3–CD compilation, the Japanese puffer fish’s album is Led Zeppelin 2 in comparison.
Next time you go out for sushi, remember that you might be eating something more sophisticated than yourself.
For more from PZ Meyers, one of the most consistently entertaining science writers going, see his blog Pharyngula.