fishObservation of a Living Fish

Prelab questions(use your book and notes as a reference)

1.  A goldfish belongs to the Kingdom ______________________,
the Phylum __________________________
the Subphylum ________________________
and the Class __________________________

2.  The goldfish is considered to be a __________-finned fish.

3. List three other fish that would be in the same class as a Goldfish.

4. Goldfish are bony fish, but they are related also to a group of fish who have skeletons made of cartilage. What class of fish does this refer to?

Observation of the Fish

1. Observe the movements of the fish for a few minutes while your fish adjusts to being moved. 

2.  Lift the beaker and look at the fish's belly.  Compare the coloration of the ventral (belly) side to the dorsal (top) side.    What is countershading and how does it benefit the fish?


3.  Watch the fish as it opens and closes its mouth.  When the mouth is open, is the operculum open or closed?  ____________

4.  The opening and the closing of the mouth tells you how many "breaths" a fish takes.  Count how many breaths your fish takes in one minute.   Compare this number to to five other fish in the room and record the data below.

Your Fish ______       Fish2  ______       Fish3  _______       Fish4 ______       Fish5 _____

5.  What is the average breathing rate of the goldfish?  (Add all five numbers and divide by 5)   Average:   ________

6.  Examine the eye of the fish.   Is the eye protected by an eyelid?  _________   (Hint: does your fish blink?)

7.  Determine if the fish can see your hand by putting it close (but not touching) the glass.   How does your goldfish respond?


8.  Now tap the glass gently and record how the goldfish responds.

9.  What system is responsible for sensing  vibrations in the water?   _________________   ______________ system

10.  Examine other goldfish near your table.  Do they all look the same?   What are some of the color variations among the goldfish in the room?


11.  Examine the fins.   As the fish swims, which fins seem to be moving the most?

12.  Which fins don't seem to move at all?

13.  Look closely  at the dorsal fin of the goldfish.  Sketch the fin in detail below.    Why is a goldfish called a ray-finned fish?



14.  Fill out the chart below.

Name of Fin How many present? Function

14.   An analogous structure is a part of the body that is similar to a part of the body in a different organism.    What would be the analogous structure of these fins on a human?

Pelvic fin  _____________________            Pectoral fin     ____________________

15. Sketch your fish in the space below.  Label each fin.