Fish are vertebrates, which means they have a skeleton that includes a spine and a skull. The
main skeleton helps to support and protect the soft parts of the fish’s body, such as the organs
and muscles. In addition, parts of the fish’s skeleton grow within the skin and become the hard
spines of the fins and the tiny hard plates within the fish’s scales. Fish use their fins to
steer themselves through the water. Their tail acts like a paddle to push them along.

There are two different skeletal types: the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an
organism, and the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside the body. The skeleton
of the fish is either made of cartilage (cartilaginous fishes) or bones (bony fishes). The main
features of the fish, the fins, are bony fin rays and, except for the caudal fin, have no direct
connection with the spine. They are supported only by the muscles. The ribs attach to the spine.

Bones are rigid organs that form part of the endoskeleton of vertebrates. They function to move,
support, and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store
minerals. Bone tissue is a type of dense connective tissue. Because bones come in a variety of
shapes and have a complex internal and external structure they are lightweight, yet strong and
hard, in addition to fulfilling their many other functions.

Fish bones have been used to bioremediate lead from contaminated soil.

Fish is an aquatic organism which belongs to the subphylum Pisces. In the taxonomical
hierarchy, fishes belong to the kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata. They are in diverse groups
which include jawless fish, armoured fish, cartilaginous fish, lobe-finned fishes and ray-finned
fish and so on. Among these, most of them are ectothermic i.e. cold-blooded organisms.
According to the behavior and characteristics nature, they show diversity in their bodily
structures. Most of the fishes have strong and firm bony skeletal system.

Skeletal System of Fish

General features of fishes include fins, streamlines and scales and tails. But differences are
highlighted under their skins. Hence classification is much easier based on the skeletal system. A
variety of fishes is found in aquatic habitat some may be cartilaginous (Chondrichthyes) or bony
fishes (Osteichthyes). The skeletal system of fishes is either composed of thin and flexible
cartilage or hard calcified bones or both. They are good swimmers and their body structures are
designed accordingly.

Pelvic fin ray: each of the bones forming the fin beneath the pelvic girdle. Radial cartilage: elastic substance of the radius. Skull: bony case of the brain of a fish. Orbit: cavity of the skull that contains the eye. Upper jaw: upper part of the mouth. Pelvic girdle: set of bones forming the pelvis. Neural spine: spine containing part of the nervous system. Ray of the posterior dorsal fin: each of the small bones forming the rear fin on the back of a fish. Lower jaw: mandible. Caudal fin ray: each of the small bones forming the tail fin of a fish. It lives in water and is usually oviparous.Skeleton of a fish: finned vertebrate animal with skin covered with scales. Opercular: pair of bony plates covering the gill opening. . Rib: each of the bones forming the thoracic cage. Pectoral fin ray: each of the bones forming the chest fin. Anal fin ray: each of the small bones forming the fin behind the anus of a fish. Vertebra: each of the bones forming the neural spine of a fish. Radial cartilage: elastic substance of the radius. Hypural: bone to which are attached the spiny rays of the caudal fin of a fish. Ray of the anterior dorsal fin: each of the small bones forming the front fin on the back of a fish. Clavicle: shoulder bone.

Fish make swimming look easy. generally getting larger as they go along. But they can't swim as fast as fish using their bodies and caudal fins Locomotion in Fish Fish swim. and aquatic mammals are incredibly efficient at swimming. but can turn rapidly. many of which we do not yet understand. and for them it is. They are in fact much better at swimming than we are.Describe the role of myomeres in swimming. Myomeres are bands of muscle that run along the sides of a fish’s body. but generate a net force backwards which in turn pushes the fish forward through the water. everybody knows that. The energy required to propel a Whale Shark through the water at 10 km an hour is far less than the energy required to propel a submarine of similar size at the same speed. but this is normally achieved by the fish contracting muscles on either side of its body in order to generate waves of flexion that travel the length of the body from nose to tail. but many other species move mainly using their median and paired fins. They produce the contractions that propel the body during swimming. millions of years of evolution have created many fascinating adaptations. Most fishes generate thrust using lateral movements of their body and caudal fin. There are exceptions. These muscles may make up as much as 75% of a fish’s body weight. Swimming Fish swim by exerting force against the surrounding water. The vector forces exerted on the water by such motion cancel out laterally. . What we do know is that fish. as is needed when living in coral reefs for example. The latter group swim slowly. but then so are all the mammals that live their lives in the water.

which contains large amounts of tendons connected to massive musculature systems. Thrust is generated by the caudal fin. Between ½ and 2/3 of body muscle mass is used to generate undulating waves down the body. the head does not act in the wave motion. The caudal fin is attached by a narrow peduncle region. Ostraciiform locomotion uses a slow back and forth motion. Common swimming mode for many familiar freshwater fishes (trout. which is large strong and forked. Ostraciiform Locomotion Very similar in principle to Thuniiform. This technique has evolved independently amongst different lineages. . FINS AND LOCOMOTION BODY CAUDAL FIN There are five groups that differ in the fraction of their body that is displaced laterally Accounts for the primary propulsive forces in 85% of the fish families (Videler 1993). The body is flexible and by definition will be bent into the shape of at least one-half of a sin wave. similar to a dog wagging its tail. but vastly different effectiveness. Anguilliform Locomotion Named for the elongate fishes typical of this locomotive style. Also seen in Sharks and other long distance cruisers. Their two most common means of deterring predators are internal poisons. but rather to highly rigid skeletal systems. Subcarangiform Locomotion Less musculature used than in Anguilliform Locomotion. salmon). Accompanying the evolution of this slow swimming style. Thunniform Locomotion Greatest "achievement" of fish swimming modes. fishes evolved other means of deterring predators. During Anguilliform locomotion undulatory waves are passed down the entire length of the body. these caudal fins are not attached to the highly musculature structures. Typically. Often times. Typically associated with highly laterally compressed fishes. but remains relatively fixed to the body. Named after the incredibly fast swimming Tuna Fishes. The tail is relatively small and unable to forcefully push through the water. Carangiform Locomotion Last 1/3 of body muscle mass is used to generate propulsion. Thunniform locomotion allows for the greatest long- term speed. and external spines. the eels.

They are the Seahorses. it is almost never seen in other fish families. similar to a rowing effect. However. Named after the Balistidae family (Triggerfishes) that typifies this classification. This shape has a natural tendency to keep the fish heading in a straight line. Balistiform locomotion may have evolved along with the "trigger" mechanism in the triggerfishes. Because many of the fishes using this method as the primary swimming mode lack swim bladder buoyancy control. In fact. One example are the Acanthurids (Tangs) which often use their pectoral fins for stabilization when staying in place. Often times. Seahorses often swim "forward" by "standing up" and using their dorsal fins to undulate or oscillate. This swimming style is often seen in "torpedo shaped" fishes. Pectoral fins are used to push water. . would not explain the usage of the anal fin. which intern could be used for fin movement. there is one family of fishes that are common in aquariums which use Amiiform locomotion. not even for intermittent swimming. This however. Combing the principles of straight-line swimming and constant propulsion. It is important to note that this mode is commonly used by many fish families for stabilization. During the return phase (recovery stroke) pectoral fins are held close to level to reduce drag (negative thrust). as the trigger musculature is located along the dorsal axis. During Labriform locomotion pectoral fins are held in a broad position while pushing water backward. MEDIAN PAIRED FIN Accounts for the primary propulsive forces in 15% of the fish families (Videler 1993) Balistiform Locomotion Simultaneous undulations of the dorsal and anal fins. While Balistiform locomotion is the primary swimming mode in triggerfishes. Amiiform Locomotion This locomotive style utilizes undulations passing along the dorsal fin. to generate thrust (power stroke). Labriform Locomotion Named after the Labridae family (wrasse). Seahorses can have dorsal waves moving at up to 70 Hz (Helfman et al 1997). The trigger mechanism may require strong musculature. these fish tend to cover great distances as the continuously cruise around the reef habitat. Very few aquarium fishes use this locomotive pattern. but do not use them while swimming forward. it is common for them to constantly swim. following the power stroke all fins are held firmly against the body to increase streamlining. it is rarely discussed because the fishes typifying this style are unknown or unfamiliar to marine fish hobbyists. The rate at which their fins may oscillate is quite rapid and Amiiform swimmers in general can have many wavelengths moving across their dorsal fin at any given time.