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21 Terms including Fish Anatomy


animals with a backbone; They all have bilateral symmetry and endoskeletons

5 Classes of Vertebrates:

Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals


the largest group of vertebrates- 25,000 species; have been on Earth 500 million years; first vertebrates to evolve

Three groups of fish:

jawless, cartilaginous and bony

Fish Common Characteristics

All are aquatic, cold-blooded, breathe with gills and have scales


scientists who study fish


a body form that is compressed at the sides and tapered at the tail making it easy to glide through the water


along the top or back

Ventral -

underneath side


side of the fish


a membrane supported by rays or spines that function in swimming or orientation in the water

Types of Fins

Dorsal fins, Anal fins, Pelvic fins, Pectoral fins, Caudal fin


feathery structures located on the sides of the head that removes oxygen from the water and allows it to enter the blood

Gill rakers-

function is to keep food out of the gills


bony plate covering the gills; function is to draw water over the gills

Lateral line-

a row of tiny holes in the skin that begins behind the gill cover and runs along the side to the tail; helps the fish feel movement in the water


all fish have scales to protect their bodies; fish can be classified according to the shape and characteristics of their scales

Swim bladder-

most fish have this "air" bladder to help move up and down in the water


the location, shape and size of the mouth can be a good indicator of what the fish eats and where it lives


some fish have these "whisker-like" structures to aid in feeling and can be covered with taste buds

Nostrils (nares)-

are not for breathing; nares allow the fish to smell things in the water

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