Fish Morphology - West Ada School District

Fish Morphology - West Ada School District

Fish Morph ology Bony Fishes Body Divisions 0Their body is divided into:

- head - trunk - and tail 0although the divisions are not always externally visible. The caudal peduncle

0 is the narrow part of the fish's body to which the caudal or tail fin is attached. The hypural joint is the joint between the caudal fin and the last of the vertebrae. The hypural is often fan-shaped. Fishes were described and classified by

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Body parts Mouth location and size

Tail shape Color Some special adaptations Body shape 0 A good indicator of how a fish moves and where it lives.

1. flat or depressiform They normally live on the bottom of the sea floor flap their fins up and down to swim through the water in the same way a bird flaps its wings. ex. Skates and flounder

Oban Skates Stingray Body shape 2. Long and Skinny or Filiform slither through the water like a snake

examples - like an eel American eel Snake eel Body Shape 3. oval or fusiform

section like a salmon or bass are fast swimmers usually live in open water Largemouth Bass Blue Gill Body Shape

Compressiform shape like that of angelfish looks thin when viewed from the front. This body shape is well designed for making quick turns and quick bursts of speed over short distances. Compressiform fish commonly live Black Crappie where there are many places to

take refuge such as ponds, lakes, or coral reefs, or They school together in shallow open waters. Body Shape 6. Sagittiform These body shapes are good for rover predators,

which depend on an ability to strike quickly--often from a hiding place. "Arrow-like." Other fish with this body type include pikes, gars, topminnows, killifish, needlefish, and barracuda. Spotted gar

Northern Walleye 7. Taeniform "Ribbon-like." Example shown is a gunnel. This shape is good for hiding in cracks and crevices, but fishes like this do not move very fast.

8. Globiform "Globe-like." Shown is a smooth lumpsucker. This, too, would be an unusual shape in a freshwater environment, although pupfish come close. 9. Anguilliform "Eel-like." Many eels, of course have this

shape. Shown is a brook lamprey. This shape allows a fish to enter and hide in very narrow openings, and also helps the fish resist the force of current. Another way to classify body types is by their function. In this system: 1. Rover predators (fish that more or less constantly

swim about searching for prey) include fusiform body types, as well as salmon, trout, and bass; they have pointed heads, terminal mouths, narrowed caudal peduncles, and forked tails. Salmon 2. Lie-in-wait predators (predators that catch their

prey by ambush) include sagittiform body types; they have dorsal and anal fins placed well back on the body, a streamlined form, flattened heads, and large, welltoothed mouths. 3. Surface-oriented fishes are often small, with mouths that are directed upwards toward the surface of the water. These fishes often swim just below the surface, and eat food that is floating on the surface or

flying above it. Topminnows, killifish, freshwater hatchetfish, halfbeaks, and flying fish are examples of surface-oriented fishes. 4. Deep-bodied fish include all the compressiform types, and are found widely in places where the ability to make tight, close turns is of value, such as rock reefs,

coral reefs, thickly vegetated areas, and schools. 5. Eel-like fish include taeniform, anguilliform, and filiform shapes all in one category. 6. Bottom fish is a very broad category that includes bottom rovers like catfishes, suckers, and sturgeons, bottom clingers like sculpins, bottom hiders like darters and blennies, and depressiform body types,

like flatfish. Morphology: Fin type Pectoral fins: Pectoral fins may be horizontal and down low, like in a salmon, trout, shark, or sturgeon, and used mainly for

gliding. These are often are used for swimming, holding position, and changing directions quickly. Pelvic fin location: Pelvic fins are usual abdominal, meaning that they are attached midway down the belly.

When the pelvic fins are below the pectoral fins, such as can be seen in the diagram of the non-existent fish above, they are termed thoracic. When a thoracic pelvic fin is attached under the gills, it may also be called jugular, and if under the chin or eye, mental. Caudal fin shape:

A. The homocercal (homo-SUR-kul) tail is a modern development. It is symmetrical. It includes truncate, square, slightly forked, and deeply forked types. It is by far the most common caudal fin shape, shared by most fishes. B. The heterocercal tail

is an ancient form, possessed by only a few primitive fishes, such as sharks, sturgeon, and paddlefish. It was a necessary tail shape when fishes had no swim bladders and were heavy in the front; if the fish tried to use a symmetrical tail, it would have plunged toward the bottom. Instead, it developed a tail with a

deliberately downward-driving design and supplemented it with horizontal, plane-like pectoral fins that transformed that downward force into a horizontal, forward-driving force. C. This tail has a non-differentiated caudal fin. This may be found on eels of all sorts, as well as lampreys.

Fish Tail indicates how the fish moves and lives as well. Types of fish tails: 1. truncated tail good for maneuverability and short bursts of speed not as much drag as the round shape Examples: killifish This kind of tail is commonly found on fish in coastal

embayments. killifish Truncate tail 2. Forked Tail

is good for maneuverability and speed over longer distances. Less drag Forked tail 3. Round Tail

Large amounts of surface area for effective maneuvering and acceleration but creates drag causing the fish to tire easily Clown fish

Round tail 4. Emarginate Effective acceleration and maneuvering not as much drag as the round and truncate tail

5. Lunate or crescent shaped tails like those found on a swordfish not good for maneuvering allow for great speed over long distances usually found on fish that live in the open ocean. Swordfish (Xiphias gladius)

Black Marlin (Makaira indica) Morphology: Scale type Scales have evolved over time and are of major importance in classifying fishes. Most scales are deeply buried in the fish's epidermis, or outer skin

layer, with only part of them showing. Below the pictures of scales are examples of how the scales would look on the fish's body. Ganoid "primitive" kind of scale reminder of the time

when fishes used armor plating to protect themselves Ganoid scales are hard and smooth, and may take the form of only a few scales

Placoid Sharks have placoid (PLAK- oyd) scales: tiny, tooth-like structures that are partially embedded in the skin. These tiny, pointed scales, made of the same materials

as their (and our) teeth, make their skin feel like sandpaper. Cycloid Many fishes with which we are most familiar have cycloid

scales, which are the thin, round, almost transparent scales that we find when we are cleaning trout, salmon, or herring. These scales are mostly buried in the epidermis, allowing only the small posterior

margin to show. Ctenoid which are much like cycloid scales except that they have tiny, comblike projections (ctenii) on their posterior edges (the edges that show, and are not buried in skin).

The colors of brightly colored fishes also show on these posterior edges. Besides the scale types, there are also cosmoid scales, as well as scaleless fishes (sculpins,

many catfish, some eels, and swordfish), and fishes which have scales so deeply buried that they look scaleless (many tunas and anguillid eels). Morphology: Mouth Shape

1. Upward orientation used to capture prey on the water surface 2. large mouth swallowing/tearing large prey 3. beaklike mouth used to graze on small algae growing on hard surfaces

Parrot fish 4. Downward orientated mouth-useful to suck food up from bottom

Janitor fish 5. long, skinny bill tweezer like poking into crevices Defense Strategies 1. Cryptic Coloration - form of camouflage, colored to

match background/surroundings 2. Countershading-dorsally darkened and ventrally whitened, dark helps fish to blend in with the dark bottom when viewed from above whereas the white belly helps them to blend with the sky or clearer waters above when viewed from below

3. Disruptive Coloration -another form of camouflage, colors and patterns (i.e.. presence of color stripes or bars) that break up the outline of a fish making it harder to see firefish Basslet

4. Eye Spot (false eye)-black spot located near base of the tail used to confuse predators Four Eye Butterfly Fish. 5. Thickened Scales -protective covering making their hard carpace relatively immune to predation

6. Spines-for defense and protection from predators, may be venomous Porcupine fish 7. Schooling-fish swimming in schools may have a greater chance to survive

than if by themselves because an individual fish in a school may be harder to pick out by a predator Reproductive types o Asexual reproduction (parthenogenesis) o Sexual Reproduction

Parthenogenesis o There are two known species that undergo parthenogenesis as their chosen form of reproduction. o The Amazon Molly Poecilia formosa of Mexico and Texas o Texas Silverside Menidia clarkhubbsi

Sexual Reproduction o The standard form of reproduction is through the union of male and female gametes o Sexual maturity is reached at different ages for different species. Factors that influence sexual maturity include age, gender and size.

o Many bony fishes become sexually mature between one and five years. Sturgeon take up to 15 years to mature. o In general, species of a small maximum size begin reproducing at a younger age than those that have a large maximum size. Diversity in Gender o The vast majority of fish are dioecious meaning that

there are male and female genders in separate bodies o Hermaphrodism, is the alternative to dioecism o Species can be either hermaphroditic simultaneously or sequentially o If simultaneous then they are both genders at the same

time o If sequentially then the species changes genders due to environmental cues o Species that are born male are called protandrous o Species that are born female are called Protogynous Modes of Sexual Reproduction o There are three primary ways that fish reproduce

o Ovopartity lay undeveloped eggs, external fertilization (90% of bony fish), internal fertilization (some sharks and rays) o Ovovivparity internal development without direct maternal nourishment advanced at birth (most sharks & rays) Larval birth (some scorpeaniforme rockfish) o Viviparity Internal development direct nourishment

from mother fully advanced at birth (some sharks, surf perches) Sexual Dimorphism o In most species of fish the females are larger than the males, this sexual dimorphism is not normally more than a difference of about 10-15% by length.

o There are a family of fish however, that the male is significantly smaller and lives as a parasite on the female getting all of his nutrients from her. Young Protection o There are many different forms that fish use to

protect the young/eggs o Mouth brooding, one adult collects the eggs in their mouth after fertilization and keeps them safe until they hatch (cichlids) o External brooding pouch, or with the eggs stuck to the males body (seahorses) o Gill brooding, eggs are kept in the gill cavity of the adult

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