Bony Fish Text Questions

Questions for Research

  1. Body Form –  Body form in fishes can be highly varied with the form of a fishes body matching its functional needs.  Go to  A quick course on Ichthyology.  Read and complete the chart below (the whole chart should be copied down into your notes.)
    Body Form Example Function
    torpedo    acceleration
    one sided Pacific halibut  
    pan shaped   maneuverability
    attenuated Moray Eel  
    unusual    
  2. How do billfish like the sailfish use their bills for feeding.  Describe at least two methods.
  3. Build a fish.  Select a habitat, then use the yellow arrows to select four features appropriate to that habitat.  Check the fish, repeat until you get two fish (from two different habitats) that survive.  Describe each fish.  This is a flash application.  If your browser is not cooperating, describe how three specific fish species jaws or body shape or caudal fin tails allow that fish to do something specific. 
  4. Jaws – Jaws are an amazing evolutionary adaptation that appeared first in fish.  It allows fish to potentially voracious predators.  Read about the Two Bite Moray and Gulper Eels.  Make a sketch of these two extreme examples.
  5. Fin Shape – All fish have fins, with most fish having variations of the same basic types.  Use Wikipedia’s Fish Anatomy Page to complete the chart below.
    Caudal fin shape Example Function
      blue shark  lift
    homocercal lunate sailfish  
    homocercal truncate pink salmon  
      banded butterfly fish maneuverability
    stunted, small, or unusual leafy sea dragon  
  6. Schooling – Explain three advantages (avoiding predators can only be one) of schooling.
  7. Coloration- Dark on top, light on bottom, its called counter coloration and its very common in fish.  In most marine environments it makes a fish hard to see from above (looking into the dark) and hard to see from below (looking into the light above.)  Look at a blue marlin to see an example of this.  Make a sketch or describe in a detailed description of the coloration pattern for the tuna.  Next click on the link for coral reef fishes.  Many coral reef fishes are highly colorful with distinctive eye spots or bands of contrasting color.  Explain the possible advantages of these outlandish color patterns.
  8. Reproduction – It will help you to read above before you begin this question.  Contrast the reproductive styles of the California grunion with the blue marlin  and the leafy sea dragon.
  9. Together in class we will listen to a description by Richard Nelson of the connections between spawning salmon and forests.  Describe how salmon (in a very real sense) build forests.
  10. Go check out some images of fish scales under the microscope. Describe two things you notice or learn about the scales?