Fantastic Fish. Lesson 10. Leafy Sea Dragon

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1 Fantastic Fish Lesson 10 Fish are cold-blooded vertebrates that live in streams, lakes and oceans. They are abundant in both fresh and salt water. There are over 28,000 known species of fish on the planet. They have a backbone and use gills to extract oxygen from the water. Most fish can swim rapidly using their streamlined bodies covered with scales. More than 27,000 species of fish have bony skeletons. The rest including sharks and rays have skeletons made primarily of cartilage. Almost all fish reproduce by laying eggs. They are extremely important as a source of food for people all around the world. Fishing is a major industry large fishing trawlers can drag nets up to 600 feet behind their boat. After the fish are hauled into the ship they are immediately processed on board the vessel. Today fish farms are springing up around the globe to provide fish for people as some wild populations have decreased due to over fishing. Leafy Sea Dragon Wendy Rathey Leafy Sea Dragon The leafy sea dragon is a marine fish related to the seahorse. They are found around the southern and western waters of Australia. Their name is based on their bizarre appearance. They have long leaf-like protrusions coming from all over their body. The protrusions are for safety and not for propulsion. They camouflage their body so predators will not discover them. They have a pectoral fin on the ridge of their neck and a dorsal fin on their back close to the tail that they use for locomotion. The fins are very small and almost completely transparent. They give the illusion of a piece of floating seaweed as they move slowly through the water.

2 Leafy sea dragons are usually about 18 inches and are much larger than seahorses that range in size from ¾ inch to 12 inches in length. Leafy dragons feed on plankton, algae, and other debris. Females lay their eggs on the male s tail where they grow to maturity. In recent years they have become endangered and are now officially protected by the Australian government. Their numbers have declined because of industrial waste and being collected by fascinated scuba divers. Great White Shark Terry Goss Great White Shark The great white shark is the world s largest known predator fish. They reach lengths up to 20 feet and weigh as much as 5000 pounds. They live in waters between 54 F and 75 F. Large populations of great white sharks live in waters off the coasts of Australia, South Africa, California, and the Isla Guadalupe in Mexico. They are also found in smaller numbers in the Central Mediterranean, Adriatic Sea and in tropical waters of the Caribbean sea. The densest population of great white sharks is found around Dyer Island, South Africa. Scientists are conducting research on the animals living in this area. The great white shark is an open-ocean dweller that usually lives near the surface of the water. Some sharks have been recorded diving to depths of 3,000 feet in search of prey. Their teeth can be broken off and replaced rapidly just like other sharks. The shark s teeth are serrated and when a great white shark attacks its prey it will shake its head side to side to bite off large chunks of flesh. Every movement of a living creature generates an electrical field that can be detected by great white sharks. The body of a great white shark is so sensitive to this movement it can detect a half billionth volt of electricity. Moray Eel Moray eels are typically about five feet long. The longest species reaches thirteen feet in length. Although they resemble a snake they are a true fish. There are approximately 200 species of moray eels. They lie in crevices of coral reefs during the day waiting for the dark when they venture out of their caves to feed. Their jaws are wide and they have large teeth designed to tear flesh from their prey rather than chewing. They also have a second set of teeth in their throat. This set of teeth is used to grasp struggling prey and transport it down their throat and into their digestive tract.

3 Moray eels are often believed to be vicious and ill tempered animals because of their appearance. They are actually shy creatures that only attack humans in self defense. Scuba divers on some reefs feed moray eels. Occasionally they will get bitten unintentionally by the animals as they are feeding them because moray eels poor eyesight and hearing. They do have an acute sense of smell and use this sense to ensnare small fish and crustaceans that swim close enough to be caught. Angler Fish Most angler fish live in the most inhospitable habitat on Earth. They live in the cold murky waters of the Atlantic and Southern Oceans up to a mile beneath the surface. There are over 200 species of angler fish living in the oceans. They have huge heads and enormous mouths with sharp teeth. They range in size from a foot long to more than three feet in length. Female angler Angler Fish NOAA fish have a dorsal spine that protrudes from their head with like a fishing lure with a luminescent rod that acts as bait for unwary fish. Fish twice as large as the angler fish can be snatched up and eaten because of their large mouth and flexible body. Male angler fish do not have fishing lures because they attach themselves to the body of female angler fish. After attaching to the females body they become permanent parasites. Some females have up to six males attached to her body. Lesson summary Fish are cold-blooded vertebrates that live in streams, lakes and oceans.. Leafy sea dragons give the illusion of pieces of floating seaweed as they move slowly through the water. Great white sharks reach lengths up to 20 feet and weigh as much as 5000 pounds. Moray eels lie in crevices of coral reefs during the day waiting for nightfall when they venture out of their caves to feed. Female angler fish have a dorsal spine that protrudes from their head with like a fishing lure with a luminescent rod that acts as bait for unwary fish.

4 Name Date Fantastic Fish Quiz 10 Fill in the blanks using words from the Word Bank 1. Great white sharks reach lengths of 20 feet and weigh up to. 2. Moray eels are not vicious animals but actually creatures that only attack humans in self defense. 3. There are over 28,000 known species of on the planet. 4. Fish twice as large as the angler fish can be snatched up and eaten because of their large mouth and flexible. 5. Moray eels lie in crevices of during the day waiting for the dark when they venture out of their caves to feed. 6. Some great white sharks have been recorded diving to depths of 3,000 feet in search of. 7. Leafy sea dragons give the illusion of pieces of floating as they move slowly through the water. 8. Female angler fish have a dorsal spine that protrudes from their head like a fishing with a luminescent rod that acts as bait for unwary fish. 9. The leafy sea dragon is a marine fish related to the. 10. Fish are cold-blooded that live in streams, lakes and oceans. Word Bank fish seahorse coral reefs body shy seaweed 5000 pounds vertebrates lure prey

5 Fish Cards Activity 10 Introduction There are many fantastic fish that live in the ocean. Most fish are in a constant battle to eat or be eaten. They have developed many different ways to survive while they live and reproduce often in the open ocean where there is no place to hide. In this activity you will be making cards showing different fish and interesting facts about the animals. Materials Ten 5 x 8 inch index cards Pictures of different fish Colored pencils or pens Directions 1. Choose ten different fish for your fish cards. 2. Draw a picture of the fish or print one off the internet that will fit on the card and leave enough space to write some interesting information about the fish. 3. Read about each fish and take notes about the fish. 4. Write at least eight facts about the fish on a note card. 5. Rewrite the information in paragraph form. 6. Glue a picture of the first fish on your list on an index card. 7. Rewrite the information you wrote in paragraph form on the note cards. 8. Make a total of ten fish cards for this activity. Extension Expand your file to different types of marine life. You might do a set of cards on crustaceans or mollusks. Create fish cards for animals that live in Arctic or Antarctic waters..

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