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f99u2le4 - FISH ECOLOGY Lesson 4. Fangs, Fins, Mouths, and...

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©PROJECT OCEANOGRAPHY FALL 1999 Fish Ecology 54 F ISH E COLOGY Lesson 4. – Fangs, Fins, Mouths, and Eyes Lesson objectives: ± Students will learn what the appearance of fangs, fins, mouth and eyes can tell a researcher. ± Students will see examples of each. Vocabulary words: canine, krill, plankton, subterminal, terminal, nictitating, caudal, dorsal and ventral How do Fish Teeth Differ? Many fish have teeth on several head and face bones. Some fish do not have 'teeth' at all, they are merely extensions of the bones in their heads that are used for feeding. Other fish have teeth on the tongue and between the gills. Some fish have plate-like teeth that are used for grinding corals, and crushing shells to get to the softer prey beneath. Other fish have strong canine teeth (fang- like teeth seen in dogs), in the front of their mouths for grasping prey. Each species of fish may have teeth located on different bones, or locations in their mouths because of their specialized location in the ocean. Pikes and many sharks have large mouths and many sharp teeth. Their appearance labels them as predators that can take large bites and swallow prey whole. Sharks have rows of teeth that allow them to take bites out of prey that are too big to swallow. Barracudas and piranhas also have the same dental arrangement. Deep-sea fish have dagger-like teeth that help them to grasp prey of large size and hold it until it can be swallowed. Other large-mouthed fishes have weak teeth or none at all! Their mouths have other structures that can hold prey, or strain out plankton . Some whales, the largest sea creature known to man, have baleen . A baleen is a plate-like structure that is used to strain tons of krill and plankton from the ocean water.
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©PROJECT OCEANOGRAPHY FALL 1999 Fish Ecology 55 F ISH E COLOGY Fish have specialized mouths for the way they feed, and what they eat. Wolf eels feed upon shelled animals, and have strong teeth in the front and back for crushing its prey. The two front teeth in parrotfishes are fused. This is so they can bite off chunks of coral. A slipmouth is capable of extending their mouths to siphon prey. The thin snout- like mouth of a butterflyfish is useful for removing food items from small cracks and crevices . What are the Differences in Fish Fins? The shape of fishes fins is probably the most noticed feature on the fish body. Fins are composed of two groups, unpaired and paired. The unpaired fins are the dorsal , caudal , and anal ; the paired fins are called pectorals and pelvics , or ventrals . Paired Fins Pectoral fins are present in almost every fish. They are found behind the gill cavity, and are prominent. In primitive fishes, the pectoral fins are found lower on the body, nearer the ventral side. In some cases, these fins look like an arm-like extension. In other cases, the pectoral fins have evolved to look like wings for the South American flying fish and a pad for resting on the bottom in some catfish. Other fish have developed
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f99u2le4 - FISH ECOLOGY Lesson 4. Fangs, Fins, Mouths, and...

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