writers tell of a pike taken from a lake near Mannheim in Wurttemburg in 1497.
This 'Emperor's Pike' weighed 350lb and measured an incredible 19ft. When caught
it was found to have an inscribed copper ring attached to one of its gill covers.
The inscription indicated that Emperor Frederick II had planted this fish in the
lake in the year 1230 - 267 years before its capture! This story was given credence
for many years by the existence of a large pike skeleton in Mannheim cathedral.
Eventually a naturalist found that the backbone of this skeleton had 'acquired'
a considerable number of extra vertabrae and the great pike became yet another
there is no doubting the ability of pike to swallow large or unusual food items
(small ducks, other waterfowl and rats are well documented as having been ingested
by pike) there is little credence to be given to tales of pike taking hold of
a horse's muzzle as it drinks and dragging the unfortunate animal to a watery
death! Small dogs being consumed, in whole or in part, are equally unlikely events
which can almost certainly be discounted.