Animals, by and large, don’t get cancer. Whether this is a consequence of something else killing them or luck, nobody really knows. But it is always interesting whenever we find a species that can get cancer, and we can add the coral trout to those numbers.
For once this isn’t pollution’s fault: the fish with skin cancer lesions were found in pristine waters around the Great Barrier Reef. It may be due to ozone depletion increasing the amount of radiation, so pollution is kind of at fault, but at least we’re not dumping fish-cancer chemicals into the ocean, that we know of.
It’s interesting as more than a scientific oddity: Studying cancers in other animals helps us understand why cancer forms in the first place.
Also, Fish Cancer would be a great name for a band.
image courtesy Boogies with Fish via Flickr