Some interesting facts about fish:
- Fish have been on the earth for more than 450 million years.
- Fish were well established long before dinosaurs roamed the earth.
- There are over 25,000 identified species of fish on the earth.
- It is estimated that there may still be over 15,000 fish species that have not yet been identified.
- There are more species of fish than all the species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals combined.
- 40% of all fish species inhabit fresh water, yet less than .01% of the earth's water is fresh water.
- The Spotted Climbing Perch is able to absorb oxygen from the air and will crawl overland using its strong pectoral fins.
- Some fish like sharks don't posses an air bladder to help keep them afloat and must either swim continually or rest on the bottom.
- Some fish make sounds by grating their teeth and others like some catfish make sounds from their air filled swim bladder.
- Some species of fish can fly (glide), others can skip along the surface, and others can even climb rock.
- Fish have a specialized sense organ called the lateral line which works much like radar and helps them navigate in dark or murky water.
- The largest fish is the great whale shark which can reach fifty feet in length.
- The smallest fish is the Philippine goby that is less than 1/3 of an inch when fully grown.
- Some species of fish have skeletons made only of cartilage.
- Fish have excellent senses of sight, touch, taste and many possess a good sense of smell and 'hearing'.
- Fish feel pain and suffer stress just like mammals and birds.
- Tropical fish are one of the most popular pets in the U.S.
- 95% of tropical fish mortality results from improper housing and nutrition.
- Many tropical fish sold in the United States are harvested from the wild in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.
References and Further Reading
Bailey, M; Burgess, P. Tropical Fishlopedia. Howell Books, New York, NY; 2000.
Burgess, P; Bailey, M; and Exell, A. A-Z of Tropical Fish. Howell, New York, NY; 1998.
Burgess, WE; Axelrod, HR; Hunziker III, RE. Dr. Burgess's Mini Atlas of Marine Aquarium Fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, NJ; 1997.
Alderton, D. The Complete Guide to Tropical Aquarium Fish Care Howell Books, New York, NY; 1998.