A dead fish can be the only clue to its identity.
But a fish alive and well can still be identified by the smell of it.
That’s because the fish that is alive, but in poor condition, is usually more easily identified by smell than by color.
In the wild, the smell is generally a sign of a fish’s age.
The smell of the fish is a good indicator of how long it has been alive, says Dr. John W. Buss, an expert on marine life at the University of Washington.
In some cases, it can even help identify a species.
The odors of live fish are also more distinctive than those of dead fish, Buss says.
“The odor is a more consistent indicator of the status of a dead fish than a fish that has died,” he says.
Baus has studied the odor of the sea, but he says it’s hard to compare the smell to that of a living fish.
“You have to do a lot of work to determine how different these odors are, but they do have a similar chemical signature,” he said.
The best way to tell a dead sea animal from a living one is to smell it, Baus says.
He recommends placing a fresh fish or a live one on a clean surface and using your breath to exhale.
Then look at the fish for several minutes.
If you smell the smell, the fish may be alive, Buses says.
And if you smell a dead, decomposing fish, it is probably dead, too.
“If you smell it and it’s dead, you’ve got to be very careful,” he adds.
But if you can detect a scent of a live fish, the odds are good it’s alive.
And that’s what the fish smell is telling you.
If the smell isn’t obvious, it could be a dead animal.
The fish smell of a marine mammal is not unique to marine mammals.
It is found in other animals too, like whales and dolphins, and even birds.
Buses found that it is the fish’s odor that attracts certain types of animals, including birds.
“It’s a little bit of an evolutionary thing,” he explains.
“In the past, fish were probably not really very attractive to birds because the feathers on their bodies would have been so thick.”
In other words, they didn’t have the flexibility to change into other kinds of fish, like some mammals.
“There is a reason why there are so few fish in the oceans today,” Buses said.
But even so, the sea animals we love today are not all just the fish and their tiny feathers.
Bausell says that a sea animal’s odor can also tell you a lot about the kind of fish it eats.
“We have a lot more information about what it’s eating, its age, its size, its color,” Bausella says.
When you eat fish, you’re not just tasting fish.
You’re also tasting the scent of the animal.
So Bauselli’s research indicates that smell is also a very important indicator of an animal’s health.
“All animals smell,” he tells us.
“That’s why we have scent, because smell tells us about the health of the animals.”
Bausello says that as humans, we tend to forget about our own odor.
But Bausellan says we need to be aware of our environment to recognize fish.
It’s a good idea to always be on the lookout for fish and other marine mammals, he says, “because they may be hiding in your pocket.”