February = Fish
Well at least one of the main groups; Osteichthyes or bony fish, is an extremely diverse group. Commonly, defined by those whose skeleton is primarily bony tissue as opposed to cartilge (like that of sharks and rays). Overall, the vast majority of fish belong to this group. Additionally, they are vertebrates (1 of only 5 vertebrate groups) and are the only one of those that have no terrestrial representatives.
Firstly the interesting facts! For most of these species, the primary respiration is through the gills, which all fish have. A few species like the lungfish can actually breathe through modified lungs or swim bladders.
Bony fish are primitively ectothermic (cold blooded) thus their body temeperature depends on that of the water. Some are hermaphrodites. Generally, fertilization is external whereby eggs and sperm are dispersed in the water however development development is usually oviparous (egg-laying). Although there is usually no parental care after birth, parents are very protective over the eggs they may scatter, hide, guard or brood eggs. A great example of this is the seahorse where the male actually broods the eggs which have been deposited in an adapted venrtal pouch, The eggs are deposited ther eby the females so contratry to popular thought male seahorse do not get pregnant.
Amazingly, there are over 29,000 species of Osteichthyes living in both marine and freshwater environments. Expectedly shapes, sizes and colors are vastly variable. Moreover so are lengths, widths, swimming styles, fin shapes, tail shapes and much more.
Examples of Osteichthyes
Gosh well where do we start with so many varieties? Here are some of our main picks for divers…
- Seahorses and pipefish
- Damselfish and Anemonefish
- Angelfish, Butterfly fish, Surgeonfish,
- Snappers, sweetlips, fusiliers and groupers
- tuna, trevally, jacks, mackerals, swordfish, barracudas
- trumpetfish, flutemouths
- pufferfish, trunkfish, boxfish and porcupinefish
- trouts, salmon, bream
- pike, sturgeons, catfish
- plaice, soles, flounders
- scoropionfish, stonefish, frogfish, lionfish. toadfish
- dart fish, blennies and gobies
- parrotfish, triggerfish, wrasse
and just soooooooo many more…
Evidently, you really have to get in the water to learn more and more about these incredibably biodiverse groups of creatures!
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