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Skeletal System of a Fish
Transcript of Skeletal System of a Fish
Vertebral Column or Spine
Attached to the skull are the jaw cartilages, called the palatoquadrate cartilage (upper) and Meckel's cartilage (lower).
There are also branchial cartilages supporting the gills.
The individual bones
of the spine meet at their
round centers, called
'centra' and there is
usually one vertebrae
per body segment.
Unlike those of mammals and reptiles the vertebrae of fish are not linked together, they are simply held in place by a series of tendons.
The vertebrae that connect the skull to the spine are called the Atlas and the Axis, as in all vertebrates.
Pelvic and Pectoral Fins
are supported by simple pelvic and pectoral girdles which are attached to the skull. The dorsal fin or fins and the anal fin are supported by spines that may, or may not be connected to the vertebrae.
The tail is supported by the caudal vertebrae (the Hypurals, Epurals and the Urostyle). The Urostyle is the calcified unsegmented final portion of the old notochord.
The skeleton of a modern bony fish as shown above, and even the arrow, represent the end point of a long period of evolution.
Most fish are active swimmers and the shape of their skeleton reflects the shape of their body, which, in most cases is designed to allow them to move easily through the water they live in.
Thus the skeleton of an average bony fish looks like an arrow where the skull represents the arrows head, the backbone or spine the arrows shaft and the tail represents the feathers.
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
The skull however is complex
and is called a chondocranium which
surrounds the brain and supports the
is the main supporting structure for the muscles that the fish uses to swim.
The skull of a bony fish is a puzzle of extreme complexity with many moving parts. In this collection of small interlocked bones, the fishes strike an ecological balance between strength and lightness.