Fish facts and Fish trivia

What is a fish?

A fish is an animal which lives and breathes in water. All fish are vertebrates (have a backbone) and most breathe through gills and have fins and scales. Fish make up about half of all known vertebrate species.

What is a person who studies fish called : An ichthyologist.

How are fish identified : A combination of the number of fins and their characteristics, scale counts, general features, colour, maximum length and distribution are used.

Difference between male and female fish – In some species the males and females have different shaped bodies or different colouring; in other species there is no visible difference.

How fishes breathe:  Some fish have lungs and breathe air, but most breathe through gills. Gills are made up of thin sheets of tissue richly supplied with blood vessels. As water passes over them dissolved oxygen is absorbed into the blood and waste products such as carbon dioxide pass out into the water. The gills are protected by a large bony plate called an operculum.

Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) a.k.a. red salmon (photo)

What is a lateral line :  The lateral line is a row of scales that most fish have along their sides, stretching from their head to tail. Under these scales are a system of fluid-filled canals and specialized cells which transmit vibrations to the brain. The lateral line helps fish to detect objects including predators and prey.

Why are fish slimy : Fish secrete a type of mucus from their skin. This slime coating is important because it provides protection against parasites and diseases, covers wounds to prevent infection and helps fish move through the water faster. Some species release toxins in their slime which ward off attacking creatures while others use their slime to feed their young.

A male turquoise severum fanning his eggs.

What do fish eat? Fish Diet :
Detritus, diatoms,  aquatic macro-invertebrates (particularly insect larvae, crustaceans and worms), molluscs, aquatic plants, algae, zooplankton, fish and their eggs, terrestrial insects, water birds, turtles, frogs, snakes and mice etc .

What eats fish?
Other fish, birds (e.g. pelicans, cormorants and herons), snakes, turtles, crustaceans, some insect larvae (e.g. dragonfly larvae), and humans. In other parts of the world there are also animals such as wild cats, wild pigs and bears that feed on fish.

Where do freshwater fish live : Freshwater fish inhabit all sorts of environments: streams, rivers, lakes, springs, lands, lagoons, billabongs, backwaters, estuaries, swamps, dune lakes, reservoirs, ponds and drains. Some freshwater fish also spend part of their lifecycle at sea.

Types of Tropical fishes

Anabantids  – The Anabantids are fishes that belong to the families Anabantidae, Belontiidae, Helostomatidae and Osphronemidae. They are also called “labyrinth fish” because of their auxillary breathing organ called “labyrinth”.
Catfishes– Catfishes are indentifiable by the barbels around their mouths which allow them to locate food in the dark. Instead of scales, the skin may be naked or covered with bony plates (“scutes”).Types: Cory, Whiptail, Plecto
Characins . Description – This is a very brief summary information about the fish. Everything else is on a separate page. Types: Tetra, Hatchetfish, Pacu. Most characins spawn by egg-scattering.
Cichlids – Description – The colours, shapes and sizes of cichlids vary enormously. Types: Angelfish
Cyprinids – Description – Tropical aquarium cyprinids are divided into three main groups: barbs (which are carp-like fishes), danios and raspboras. All cyprinids spawn through egg-scattering.
Killifishes – Description – Cyprinodontidae.
Loaches – Description – Loaches are distinguishable by the erectile spine beneath the eye, which acts as deterrent to predators.
Livebearers – Description – This is a very brief summary information about the fish. Everything else is on a separate page. Types: Mollies, Swordtails, Guppies, Platy, Millions Fish
Other Fish – Description – This category comprises: Triggerfish

Albino Rainbow Shark.

Did You Know – Fish Facts :

Are there more mammal, bird or fish species on Earth? Fish! It’s believed there may be 28,000 different fish species.

What fish can walk on land? The climbing perch. This amazing fish, native to India, can walk on land in search of water when its water hole dries up.

The world’s largest lake trout was caught on the Saskatchewan end of Lake Athabasca, Canada, and weighed in at 102 pounds.

The bull trout is Alberta’s provincial fish