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Fish make up about half of all known vertebrate species. Fish have been on the Earth for more than 500 million years. They were in existence long before dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
See the fact file below for more information on Fish or alternatively, you can download our 28-page Fish worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Fish are aquatic animals; they are identified as vertebrates that have gills and fins instead of limbs.
- The majority of fish have streamlined and generalized bodies.
- Another fact is that fish do not chew their food because it would obstruct the passage of water through their gills, and if they did, they would suffocate.
- One of the characteristics of fish is that they lack eyelids (except for sharks) which makes them incapable of blinking.
- Fish lack vocal cords and communicate with one another by making low-pitched sounds. Groan, croak, boom, hiss, whistle, creak, shriek, and wail are some of the sounds they make.
THE EVOLUTION OF FISH
- Around 530 million years ago, the first life forms that could be described as primitive fish appeared in fossil records.
- Primitive fish lack jaws and had very simplistic gills and primitive spinal columns known as notochords. They had a distinct head and tail, and asymmetrical bodies, with the left side mirroring the right. They had two eyes and a mouth on their heads.
- Around 480 million years ago, the spinal columns of fish began to evolve into their modern form, thus, the first true fish started to appear in fossil records.
- Fish were already divided into two distinct lineages around this time: Placoderms and Acanthodians, which shared the same characteristics as sharks but were covered in bony scales.
- For fish, the early Triassic period was a period of recovery. Because of the small number of existing families, the majority of fish had similar shapes.
- The increase in Triassic species, on the other hand, caused an increase in the size of most bony fish during the Jurassic.
- However, between the Triassic and Jurassic periods, another extinction event occurred, resulting in the extinction of 70% of all fish species.
- During the Cretaceous period and into the Cenozoic Era, more and more of the closest ancestors of modern fish began to appear. Some of the era’s most famous predators can also be discovered in fossil evidence.
- Fish have continued to expand and change shape over the last 50 million years to become what we see in the oceans today.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF FISH
- Fish are broadly divided into three classes based on their diverse population.
- Osteichthyes or bony fish is a class of fish that includes common species such as salmon, tuna, and even eels. There are over 30,000 species in the Osteichthyes group.
- Chondrichthyes are also known as cartilaginous fish because they have jaws that belong to the Gnathostomata division. This category includes sharks, rays, and skates.
- Placoderms are a type of armored prehistoric fish that lived from the Silurian period to the end of the Devonian period. They are considered fossils. The head and neck of these fish were heavily armored with bone.
- Fish are especially sensitive to water temperature and oxygen content is an important factor in determining which species can survive in a specific body of water.
- Rivers and streams- fish like carps, trout, and eels live in rivers or freshwaters.
- Inland lakes- fish species such as redfin, Murray cod, and bullhead catfish prefer warmer waters as their habitats.
- Atlantic Ocean– Atlantic bluefin tuna, Atlantic Goliath Grouper, Atlantic Wolffish
- Cold Waters- Bloodfin Tetra, Panda Corydoras, Gold Barb
- Southern Ocean (Antarctica)– Emerald Rockcod, Antarctic Toothfish, Antarctic Silverfish
- Mangroves– Mangrove roots provide important ecological habitat for a wide range of fish such as gobies, gray snappers, and jacks.
- Swamps– Bowfins, minnows, and mosquitofish.
- With the rising concern for endangered species, there are eco-friendly and sustainable ways to prevent threats to the fish population. Studying sustainable fishing methods and avoiding the use of dynamites and cyanides could go a long way toward preserving coral reefs that serve as fish habitats.
- Utilizing recycled and sustainable products reduces the impact of the high population rate on the environment, which will help protect endangered sea life from harm.
- Limiting the use of plastics, single-use materials, and disposable items.
- Participating and volunteering in clean-up drives can help protect marine life.
- You can help and protect fish by purchasing recycled products to reduce plastics that may drift into bodies of water.
- When we conserve marine life, we also preserve the ecosystems of all marine life forms.
- Imposing a limit on the number of fish caught is one of the most effective ways to reduce overfishing, which is a major contributor to the plight of marine life.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FISH TO HUMANS
- Fish play an important role in aquatic ecosystems as well as in the fight against hunger and malnutrition in humans.
- Fish not only serves as food but also provides important health benefits, as they are high in minerals, calcium, vitamins, and phosphorus.
- Fish can also aid in the control of diseases such as malaria, fever, and mosquito-borne diseases.
- Fish is typically high in healthy fats, providing healthcare benefits in terms of cardiovascular disease prevention.
- Fish is used in a number of products that are useful to humans in terms of skin treatment, wood polishing, and jewelry box covering.
- The development of fish species and fish industries is beneficial to people in terms of job opportunities.
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Fish across 28 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching about Fish which are aquatic animals; they are identified as vertebrates that have gills and fins instead of limbs.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Fish Facts
- Anatomy of a Fish
- Are they Fish?
- Too Big to Fish
- The Predator
- Endangered Species
- Fish Meals?
- Fish Delicacy
- Fish Benefits
- Color a Fish
- Fish Origami
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Link will appear as Fish Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 22, 2022
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.