Download e-book for kindle: A guide to the common sea fishes of southern Africa by Rudy Van der Elst

By Rudy Van der Elst

ISBN-10: 1868253945

ISBN-13: 9781868253944

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Extra resources for A guide to the common sea fishes of southern Africa

Example text

Soft rays and fin spines project from the base of the fins to support the fin membranes. (Illustration by Emily Damstra) lionfishes (genus Pterois) have distinctive red and white stripes that warn potential predators. Eyespots on the caudal fin of many species may confuse predators about a fish’s orientation. Internal morphological features Cranial features and feeding Unlike mammals, which have highly fused skulls with articulation only at attachments to the lower jaw and vertebral column, the cranium of fishes has more than 40 independently movable bony elements.

Flyingfish egg; f. Bull shark eggcase. (Illustration by Jacqueline Mahannah) many cyprinodontiform fishes inhabit harsh habitats, selffertilization may be a reproductive strategy to ensure mates in low-density and isolated populations. The more common pattern of simultaneous hermaphroditism is seen among the hamlets (Hypoplectrus and Serranus). Although these fishes are capable of producing both sperm and eggs at the same time, they function as only one sex at a time during a spawning event. , in hamlets), members of a pair may alternate sex roles, with one individual playing the part of the male and releasing sperm and later taking the role of the female and releasing eggs.

In this type of reproduction, the sexes are separate (“dioecious”) within the species. Species that are involved in bisexual reproduction may exhibit slight to very pronounced secondary sexual characteristics, or sexual dimorphism. Characteristic of these secondary sexual traits is that they usually are expressed in only one sex (typically the male), do not occur until maturation, may intensify during the breeding season, and generally do not enhance individual survival. , nodules on the head), dentition, color pattern, and body shape and, possibly, differences in acoustic, chemical, and electrical attributes between the sexes.

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A guide to the common sea fishes of southern Africa by Rudy Van der Elst

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