Basics of Fish
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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||incoming, sailfish, visibility, lateral, generally, dorsal, pelvic, lastly, environment, fish, normally, predator, series, backbone, underwater, gill
Spanish: Información Básica de los Peces
Basics of Fish
1 Fish are residents of the water. They can be found in almost any type of underwater environment. Mistakenly, many people think all underwater animals are fish. That is not true! Whales, jellyfish, and starfish, for example, are not fish. So, what exactly is a fish?
2 Fish have gills that they use to breathe air. They have a streamlined body and fins suitable for swimming. They are vertebrates - animals with a backbone. Lastly, most of them have scales for protection. Sharks, salmon, stingrays, and sailfish are all examples of fish. Then, why are whales, jellyfish, and starfish not in the fish family? Whales are not fish, because they are mammals - mother whales produce milk to feed their babies. Jellyfish and starfish are not fish, because they do not have backbones.
3 All animals need oxygen to survive. How do fish get oxygen in the water? Fish are equipped with a pair of special organs called gills. Gills are normally found on each side of a fish's head. They are made of a series of thin sheets or membranes. When fish open their mouths to take in water, they pump it to their gills. Fish absorb dissolved oxygen as water passes through gill membranes. Once oxygen is taken out, water flows out through gill openings.
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