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Fishes

The Animal Answer Guide

Gene Helfman and Bruce Collette

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One fish, two fish, red fish, nearly thirty thousand species of fish—or fishes, as they are properly called when speaking of multiple species. This is but one of many things the authors of this fascinatingly informative book reveal in answering common and not-so-common questions about this ubiquitous group of animals.

Fishes range in size from tiny gobies to the massive Ocean Sunfish, which weighs thousands of pounds. They live in just about every body of water on the planet. Ichthyologists Gene Helfman and Bruce Collette provide accurate, entertaining, and sometimes surprising answers to over...

One fish, two fish, red fish, nearly thirty thousand species of fish—or fishes, as they are properly called when speaking of multiple species. This is but one of many things the authors of this fascinatingly informative book reveal in answering common and not-so-common questions about this ubiquitous group of animals.

Fishes range in size from tiny gobies to the massive Ocean Sunfish, which weighs thousands of pounds. They live in just about every body of water on the planet. Ichthyologists Gene Helfman and Bruce Collette provide accurate, entertaining, and sometimes surprising answers to over 100 questions about these water dwellers, such as "How many kinds of fishes are there?" "Can fishes breathe air?" "How smart are fishes?" and "Do fishes feel pain?" They explain how bony fishes evolved, the relationship between them and sharks, and why there is so much color variation among species. Along the way we also learn about the Devils Hole Pupfish, which has the smallest range of any vertebrate in the world; Lota lota, the only freshwater fish to spawn under ice; the Candiru, a pencil-thin Amazonian catfish that lodges itself in a very personal place on male bathers and must be removed surgically; and many other curiosities.

With more than 100 photographs—including two full-color photo galleries—and the most up-to-date facts on the world's fishes from two premier experts, this fun book is the perfect bait for any curious naturalist, angler, or aquarist.

Reviews

Reviews

With more than 100 photographs—including two full-color photo galleries—and the most up-to-date facts on the world's fishes from two premier experts, this fun, accessible, and informative book is the perfect bait for any curious naturalist, angler, or aquarist.

A concise compendium of answers to a variety of questions about fishes.

A concise, reliable, and enjoyable resource, which both piques and satisfies curiousity about the physiology, ecology, behavior, and relationship to humans of this oldest of vertebrate groups.

The 216-page book contains answers to many common questions as well as some unusual and funky facts about fishes found throughout the world.

With more than 100 photographs-including two full-color photo galleries-and the most up-to-date facts on the world's fishes from two premier experts, this fun book is the perfect bait for any curious naturalist, angler, or aquarist.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
7
x
10
Pages
216
ISBN
9781421402239
Illustration Description
33 color photos, 85 halftones
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Introducing Fishes
What are fishes?
What is the plural of fish?
How many kinds of fishes are there?
Why are fishes important?
What is the most important fish in America?
Why

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Introducing Fishes
What are fishes?
What is the plural of fish?
How many kinds of fishes are there?
Why are fishes important?
What is the most important fish in America?
Why should people care about fishes?
Where do fishes live?
What is the current classification of fishes?
Why do we need a system of classification?
What is a species?
How are species arranged in a classification?
What characterizes the major groups of bony fishes?
When did fishes first evolve?
What is the oldest fossil fish?
2. Form and Function of Fishes
What are the largest and smallest living fishes?
What is the shortest-lived fish?
What is the longest-lived fish?
Do all fishes have bones?
Do all fishes have fins?
Do all fishes have teeth?
Do all fishes have scales?
What is the metabolism of a fish?
How do fishes breathe under water?
How long can a fish live out of water?
Can fishes breathe air?
What is a gas bladder?
What are lungfishes?
Why do some fishes live in salt water and others in fresh water?
Do fishes sleep?
Can fishes see color?
Can any fishes fly?
What are electric fishes?
Can any fishes produce light?
3. Fish Colors
Why are so many fishes silver?
What causes the different colors of fishes?
Is there a reason for the color patterns of fishes?
What color are a fish's eyes?
Do fishes change colors as they grow?
Do a fish's colors change in different seasons?
Is there much geographic variation in the color of a fish species?
4. Fish Behavior
Are fishes social?
Why do fishes form schools?
Do fishes fight?
Do fishes bite people?
How smart are fishes?
Do fishes play?
Do fishes talk?
How do fishes avoid predators?
5. Fish Ecology
Do fishes migrate?
How many fish species live in rivers versus lakes?
How many fish species live in the ocean?
How far down in the ocean do fishes live?
Which geographic regions have the most species of fishes?
Are there fishes in the desert?
Do fishes live in caves?
How do fishes survive the winter?
Do fishes get sick?
How can you tell if a fish is sick?
Are fishes good for the environment?
6. Reproduction and Development of Fishes
How do fishes reproduce?
Do all fishes lay eggs?
Why do some fishes lay so many eggs but other fishes lay only a few?
How long do female fishes hold eggs in their body?
Where do fishes lay their eggs?
Do fishes lay their eggs at the same time and in the same place every year?
Do fishes breed only one time per year or once in their lives?
What is a baby fish called?
Are all the eggs in the nest full siblings?
How is the sex of a fish determined?
Do fishes care for their young?
How fast do fishes grow?
How can you tell the age of a fish?
7. Fish Foods and Feeding
What do fishes eat?
Do fishes chew their food?
How do fishes find food?
Are any fishes scavengers?
How do fishes eat hard-shelled animals?
Do fishes store their food?
Do fishes use tools to obtain food?
8. Fishes and Humans
Do fishes make good pets?
What is the best way to take care of a pet fish?
Do fishes feel pain?
What should I do if I find an injured fish or a fish that looks diseased?
How can I see fishes in the wild?
Should people feed fishes?
9. Fish Problems (from a human viewpoint)
Are some fishes pests?
Can there be too many fishes in a lake or river?
Do fishes kill ducks in ponds and other bodies of water?
Are fishes dangerous to people or pets?
Do fishes have diseases and are they contagious?
Is it safe to eat fish?
What should I do if I get injured by a fish?
10. Human Problems (from a fish's viewpoint)
Are any fishes endangered?
Will fishes be affected by global warming?
Are fishes affected by pollution?
Why do people hunt and eat fish?
Is there such a thing as fish leather?
Why do so many fishes die at once?
Are boats dangerous for fishes?
How are fishes affected by litter?
What can an ordinary citizen do to help fishes?
11. Fishes in Stories and Literature
What roles do fishes play in religion and mythology?
What roles do fishes play in Western religions?
Did early philosophers and naturalists mention fishes in their writings?
Are fishes in fairy tales?
What is gyotaku?
What roles do fishes play in various cultures?
What roles do fishes play in popular culture?
What roles have fishes played in poetry and otherliterature?
Do fishes have culture?
12. "Fishology"
Who studies fishes?
Which species of fishes are best known?
Which species of fishes are least well known?
How do scientists tell fishes apart?
How do you become an ichthyologist?
Appendix A: The Classification of Fishes
Appendix B: Some Organizations That Promote Ichthyology and the Conservation of Fishes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bios
Gene Helfman
Featured Contributor

Gene Helfman

Gene Helfman is a professor emeritus at the Odum School of Ecology's Program in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development, University of Georgia. He is co-author of Fishes: The Animal Answer Guide, also published by Johns Hopkins.
Featured Contributor

Bruce Collette

Bruce Collette is a research associate with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the chair of the Tuna and Billfish Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. He is the coauthor of several books, including Fishes: The Animal Answer Guide.