Biodiversity

Friday, May 12, 2006

DESCRIBE THE MORPHOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES THAT EXIST BETWEEN CARTTILAGENOUS AND BONY FISH.

Bony and cartilaginous fishes are marine vertebrates. Cartilaginous fishes live in only salt waters whereas bony fish live in all type of waters. Bony fish belong to class Osteichthyes. Cartilaginous belong to class Chondricythyes. Bony and cartilaginous fishes usually differ in structures.

Bony fishes include snapper, groper and gurnard. They have bony skeleton and scales. Their scales are found all over the body surface and they are slippery. The scales cease to grow when they are completely developed however they are replaced by new scales when they wear. The pelvic girdle consists of a single bone on each side of the body that is freely joined ventrally. "The girdles are embedded in muscle. In bony fish the basal have been lost entirely and ossified radials are reduced to a few short bones nearly hidden under the fish rays"(2).

Furthermore, bony fishes have one pair of gill opening, pair of nostrils as well as pair of fins. Gaseous exchange in bony fish occurs across the gills. They have gills that are covered by operculum (cap), they remain still and respire. They do not have to physically move to ventilate. Gills do not open separately. ''The bony fish have organs known as swim bladder, which gives the animals buoyancy, the ability to float"(2). The mouth is generally at front of the body whereas the tail fin is found on top and bottom and is nearly the same in size (2).

Cartilaginous fish comprises of chimaeras, sharks, skate, ratfish and rays. The skins are leathery, body covered by epidermal placoid scales (a bone-like tissue is present at base of placoid scales). Sharks as the example of cartilaginous have rough, sandpaper-like placoid scales. Sharks do not have a good insight because they cannot see things closer to them. Sharks have small eyes which are at the top of the head. They are able to see at a distance. They are made up of cartilage not bones. Cartilaginous fish have five to seven uncovered gills. “They have gill silt on both of the pharynx and they separate external opening and a heterocercal tail (may or not provide lift)”. Cartilaginous have large basal cartilages that are supported by fins. (1).

The pelvic girdle is not joined in the spine. They have a row of radial cartilages and many are thin, horny, unbranched, unsegmented fin rays called ceratotrich. Both upper and lower jaws are made up of cartilages. The jaws are short and mouth is protrusible. Teeth are usually hard and they are covered with denticles. The majority of Cartilaginous fish have rows of teeth in their mouths, so that when a tooth is lost another is already in place to roll up and forward and thereby replace the lost tooth. Mouth of cartilaginous is found under the head. The male fish have claspers arch (hyoid) which involved in jaw suspension (1).

Cartilaginous are mostly covered with cartilages whereas bony fish have true bones. Although Cartilaginous and bony fishes differ in shape but they have some similarities. They share common habitat. Both have gills and fins.

References

1.Wikipedia contributors.2006. [Online]. Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia, 2006 May 09, 13:15 UTC. [Cited 2006, May 09]. Available : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartilaginous

2.Wikipedia contributors.2006.[Online].Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia, 2006 May 09, 15:40 UTC. [Cited 2006, May 09]. Available : http://en.wikipedia.org.wiki/Bony

Masiya Kedibone
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