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Freshwater fishes

Freshwater fishes

Many freshwater fishes are also popular as food.

Biology

Keywords

fish, freshwater, fish species, bream, pike, eel, catfish, Prussian carp, zander, trout, common carp, fishing, dorsal fin, pelvic fin, caudal fin, gill, scale, pectoral fin, plankton-eating, mud-dwelling, predator, benthic, river, lake, animal, vertebrates, biology

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Scenes

Species

  • common bream
  • northern pike
  • European eel
  • wels catfish
  • Prussian carp
  • zander
  • brown trout
  • common carp

Common bream

  • gill slits
  • dorsal fin
  • caudal fin
  • anal fin
  • pelvic fins
  • pectoral fins

Northern pike

  • gill slits
  • dorsal fin
  • caudal fin
  • anal fin
  • pelvic fins
  • pectoral fins

European eel

  • gill slits
  • dorsal fin
  • caudal fin
  • anal fin
  • pectoral fins

Wels catfish

  • gill slits
  • dorsal fin
  • caudal fin
  • anal fin
  • pelvic fins
  • pectoral fins

Prussian carp

  • gill slits
  • dorsal fin
  • caudal fin
  • anal fin
  • pelvic fins
  • pectoral fins

Zander

  • gill slits
  • dorsal fins
  • caudal fin
  • anal fin
  • pelvic fins
  • pectoral fins

Brown trout

  • gill slits
  • dorsal fins
  • caudal fin
  • anal fin
  • pelvic fins
  • pectoral fins

Common carp

  • gill slits
  • dorsal fin
  • caudal fin
  • anal fin
  • pelvic fins
  • pectoral fins

Animation

Narration

The common bream is an adaptable, simple fish. It usually migrates in schools consisting of individuals of the same age. The young bream feed on plankton, and the adults consume mud-dwelling organisms, chironomid larvae, molluscs and worms.

The Northern pike is a predator, feeding mainly on small fish, crustaceans, frogs and young waterfowl. It inhabits almost any body of water. The Northern pike can be caught under ice during winter, so it is available in stores fresh throughout the year.

The European eel is a benthic animal. It is sensitive to parasites and requires a great deal of oxygen. Eels are nocturnal predators but they often forage during the day. They approach the surface of the water to catch small fish at night. Eels begin their larva-phase in the ocean; later they swim up to freshwater areas to spend most of their lives there. They only return to the ocean to spawn and then die.

The wels catfish is one of the largest species of freshwater fish in Europe. Some specimens are 2 metres long and weigh 100 kilograms. Wels catfish require little oxygen and can tolerate water pollution as well; they live at the bottom of lakes. These voracious animals always attack suddenly at night.

Prussian carp live in slow rivers, ponds or backwaters; they prefer clean, less marshy lakes. Since they are prolific breeders, they often form dense shoals in the water. Prussian carp and common carp are in interspecific competition, which means they compete with each other for food.

Zander are predators that feed mainly on small fish. They live in large rivers or lakes and require a great deal of oxygen. Zander avoid marshes, since they may die if their gills become contaminated with mud particles.

Trout normally live in oceans and only migrate to freshwater to spawn. Brown trout on the other hand have completely adapted to a freshwater lifestyle. They live in cold, oxygen-rich rivers or lakes with pebble-covered bottoms. They feed on insects, larvae, molluscs, roe, small fish and crustaceans.

Common carp are characterised by a lifestyle of constant migration and endless foraging. They live in lakes and slow rivers in temperate areas. Carp are delicious and highly popular, although they have intramuscular bones called pins within their flesh; older specimens, however, tend to be greasy.

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Common carp

Freshwater fish used as food in many parts of the world.

Sharks

A group of fish characterised by a cartilaginous skeleton, well-known species include the great white shark and the great hammerhead shark.

Anglerfish

This bizarre-looking fish uses its bioluminescent lure to catch its prey. The animation explains how it works.

European crayfish

A type of large freshwater crayfish widespread in Europe.

Freshwater pearl mussel

A species of mollusc widespread in freshwaters.

How do fish breathe?

Blood vessels in fishes' gills absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

Niche

In ecology, a niche is a term describing the way of life of a species.

Prehistoric armoured fishes

Extinct species of fish which had thick ´armour´ protecting the head.

Reed and bulrush

Cosmopolitan monocots inhabiting watersides.

West Indian Ocean coelacanth

Living fossil, important stage in the evolution of tetrapods.

Edible frog

This animation demonstrates the anatomy of amphibians through the example of a common species of frogs.

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