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Point 12 - Fish Kiosk

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Point 12Here is a good cross section of the variety of fishes we have.

A lot of overlapping names are commonly applied to fishes. For example, jelly fish, starfish are not really fishes at all. Fish: vertebrate; two chamber heart, exothermic (or cold blooded); breathe through gills (not lungs, some exceptions); and have fins (not legs or arms).

Fish types can generally be divided into jawless fishes, cartilaginous fishes, and bony fishes:

  • Jawless fishes are more like eels; an example is the hagfish. These plant their mouths on the sides of fish and suck their blood.
  • Cartilaginous fishes are the sharks and rays.
  • Bony fishes; which can further be broken down into soft-rayed fishes like salmon and spiny-rayed fishes like rockfish.

One thing to especially notice is the lateral line peculiar to fishes - lateral line looks like a racing stripe down the side of the fish. It is a nerve canal. Lateral line is a distinct sense organ the way that sight, hearing, smell, and touch are senses. It is pressure sensitive and is associated with the ear chamber of the animal. Fish are unique in that their sense of hearing and tactile touching is combined. It appears likely that low frequency sounds that we would experience as dull noise or would not hear it at all can be sensed by fish as pressures or touches that end up in their hearing chambers.

Vibrations, like an oar or a swishing tail of another fish, or nearness to an object that could reflect the vibrations of other creatures. It is likely it performs a sort of passive echo location.

It is visible on most fishes except guppies, sword-tails, palties, and fillfishes. Not visible on smelts. It is a tube beneath the skin filled with mucus. It opens to the outside in spaces through pores through or between scales. Most of the time it reaches to the head and breaks up into several branches. Beneath the canal runs a nerve with branches.

Lateral line is also temperature sensitive telling fish how warm or cold the water is allowing them to react by leaving or following, or slowly adjusting their body. Some latitude but no nearly as much as warm blooded or endothermic creatures like mammals.

Sense of smell very keen in fish, especially sharks. Sacs in their nostrils and heads do not lead to the throat like us, but have their own places.

Kinds of Fishes
Fishes included here are rockfish, sharks, rays, salmon, lingcod, halibut, sand dabs, mackerel and others.

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Last updated: 6/30/2009 4:47:56 PM