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Parts of a Fish

Adipose Fin - A relatively small fleshy fin on the back of some fishes between the dorsal and caudal fins.

Anadromous - Fishes living in the sea, which enter freshwater to spawn.

Anal Fin - The fin on the median ventral line between the anus and the tail.

Anal Spines - Stiff, pointed processes located on the anterior portion of the anal fin.

Barbels - Slender, Tactile, whiskerlike projections extending from the head of some fishes.

Benthic - Bottom dwelling.

Carnivorous - Flesh eating.

Catadromous - Fish living in fresh water but spawning in the sea.

Caudal Fin - The tail fin.

Caudal Peduncle - The slender portion of a fish’s body just found in front of the tail fin.

Caudal Saddle - A mark or blotch of color saddling the caudal peduncle of some fish.

Circumtropical - Encompassing the tropical regions of the world.

Ctenoid Scale - A bony scale with tiny spines on the exposed surface.

Cycloid Scale - A bony scale with a smooth surface.

Demersal - Bottom dwelling.

Dentition - The type, arrangement and number of teeth of an animal.

Detritus - Finely divided material suspended in the water that usually settles to the bottom.

Dorsal Fin - The median fin on the back of fishes. It may be divided into spiny-rayed and soft-rayed parts.

Endemic - Belonging or native to a particular place.

Fecundity - The number of eggs produced by a mature female.

Finlets - A series of small, usually separate fin rays situated behind the main dorsal fin.

Fork Length - The measurement from the tip of a fish’s snout to the fork in the tail.

Fusiform - Shapes like a spindle; tapered at both ends.

Ganoid Scale - A diamond-shaped scale having an enamel-like surface and not overlapping to any extent.

Gill Arches - The bony supports to which the gills are attached.

Gill Rakers - A series of bony projections attached to the inside of the gill arches, used to strain food from the water.

Incisors - front teeth flattened to form a cutting edge.

Lateral - Pertaining to the side.

Lateral Keel - A ridge situated on the side.

Lateral Line - A longitudinal line on each side of a fish’s body, composed of pores opening to sensory organs.

Longevity - Length or duration of life.

Mandible - The lower jaw.

Maturity - The age or size when a fish is able to reproduce.

Molars - Grinding teeth usually situated toward the back of the mouth.

Nocturnal - Active at night.

Nonstriated - Not marked with furrows, stripes, or streaks.

Nuchal - Relating to, or lying in the region of the back of the neck.

Ocellus - A spot of color encircled by a band of another color.

Olivaceous - A deep shade of green; olive.

Omnivorous - Eating all kinds of foods, indiscriminately.

Opercular Flap - A fleshy extension of the rear edge of the gill cover.

Operculum (Opercle) - The gill cover.

Opportunistic - Nonselective in feeding.

Outcropping - A part of a rock formation that appears at the surface of the ground, or bottom of the sea.

Ova - Eggs.

Pectoral Fins - The paired fins attached to the shoulder girdle, immediately behind the gill opening.

Pelagic - Living or growing in the region of free waters in the seas and inland lakes.

Pelvic Fins - The paired hind fins.

Peritoneum - The membrane lining of the body cavity.

Plankton - The small animals and plants that float or drift in the water, usually on the surface.

Pod - A small group of several fish.

Population - The whole number of a species inhabiting or occupying a specific geographical locality.

Potamodrous - Migrating in fresh water; making short spawning runs in fresh water.

Preoperculum - A bone before or in front of the opercle.

Protgynous Hermaphrodite - A fish that changes sex from female to male with age or size.

Sargassum - Any of several brown algae that are widely distributed in the warmer waters; the floating common gulfweed.

Scute - An external horny or bony plate or scale.

Stock - A reproductively distinct population of fish; to move from one place to another, as when introducing a species to a body of water where it does not naturally occur.

Substrate - The base on which organisms live.

Terminal - At the end or tip.

Total Length - The measurement from the tip of a fish’s snout to the tip of the tail.

Ventral Fins - The pelvic fins.
Contribute Last edited by Justin on 05/04/06

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