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September 19, 2019

Sea Creatures Made From Wool


Most fish exchange gases using gills on either side of the pharynx. Gills consist of threadlike structures called filaments. Each filament contains a capillary network that provides a large surface area for exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Fish exchange gases by pulling oxygen-rich water through their mouths and pumping it over their gills. In some fish, capillary blood flows in the opposite direction to the water, causingcounter current exchange. The gills push the oxygen-poor water out through openings in the sides of the pharynx. Some fish, like sharks and lampreys, possess multiple gill openings.

However, bony fish have a single gill opening on each side. This opening is hidden beneath a protective bony cover called an operculum.

Juvenile bichirs have external gills, a very primitive feature that they share with larval amphibians.

Fish from multiple groups can live out of the water for extended time periods. Amphibious fish such as the mudskipper can live and move about on land for up to several days, or live in stagnant or otherwise oxygen depleted water.

Many such fish can breathe air via a variety of mechanisms. The skin of an guillid eels may absorb oxygen directly. The buccal cavity of the electric eel may breathe air.

Catfish of the families Loricariidae, Callichthyidae, and Scoloplacidae absorb air through their digestive tracts. Lungfish, with the exception of the Australian lungfish, and bichirs have paired lungs similar to those of tetra pods and must surface to gulp fresh air through the mouth and pass spent air out through the gills.


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