Fish live in water.
Some live in the sea and some live in fresh water.
There are many kinds of fish.
They are covered in scales.
Fish have fins and a tail.
The first fish appeared on earth about 500 million years ago. There are almost 25,000 different species, or kinds, of fish in the world today. Scientists think there may be undiscovered species in the very deepest parts of the ocean that have not yet been explored.
Fish are aquatic animals, which means they live in water. They are vertebrates, which means they have a backbone. They are covered in scales, and have several sets of fins. Some fins are in pairs and some are not.
Some fish live in freshwater, such as rainbow trout or galaxias. Others live in salt water, some in very deep parts of the ocean.There are many groups of fish.
Most fish lay eggs from which the young hatch.
Fish use different ways of defence. Many fish travel in large groups called schools. Some fish use camouflage, some even able to change colour, in order to hide.
Fish are important as food for people all over the world. Some fish are caught wild by fishing lines or by fishing boats with huge nets. Some fish are farmed (aquaculture).
Fish breathe through gills, which are on either side of the head. Water goes in the fish's mouth and out through the gills. Inside the gill slits there are filaments that look like feathers, and they trap oxygen.
Most fish swim by moving their tails from side to side.
Some fish, including sharks and rays, do not have bones, but cartilege, which is more flexible.
Almost 5,000 different species (kinds) of fish are found in seas around Australia. Go here for a list: http://www.austmus.gov.au/fishes/fishfacts/specomm.htm
If you use any part of this in your own work, acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:
Sydenham, S. & Thomas, R. Fish [Online] www.kidcyber.com.au (2000)
Updated September ©kidcyber Other animal groups:
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Fish and other sea creatures are listed by name in Animals index