The animal on the cover of Think Bayes is a red striped mullet (Mullus surmuletus). This species of goatfish can be found in the Mediterranean Sea, east North Atlantic Ocean, and the Black Sea. Known for its distinct striped first dorsal fin, the red striped mullet is a favored delicacy in the Mediterranean—along with its brother goatfish, Mullus barbatus, which has a first dorsal fin that is not striped. However, the red striped mullet tends to be more prized and is said to taste similar to oysters. Stories of ancient Romans rearing the red striped mullet in ponds, attending to, caressing, and even teaching them to feed at the sound of a bell. These fish, generally weighing in under two pounds even when farm-raised, were sometimes sold for their weight in silver.
When left to the wild, red mullets are small bottom-feeding fish with a distinct double beard—known as barbels—on its lower lip, which it uses to probe the ocean floor for food. Because the red striped mullet feed on sandy and rocky bottoms at shallower depths, its barbels are less sensitive than its deep water feeding brother, the Mullus barbatus.
The cover image is from Meyers Kleines Lexicon. The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Adobe Minion Pro; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is Dalton Maag’s Ubuntu Mono.