There are two types of fish - bony fish, and cartilaginous fish. The main thing that sets bony fish apart from cartilaginous fish is the presence of a skeleton made of bone (a cartilaginous fish has a skeleton made out of - you guessed it - cartilage.)
Bony fish also have a hard, bony plate, called an operculum, covering their gills. They may also have distinct rays, or spines, in their fins.
Characteristics and Classification of Bony Fish:
Some documents refer to the bony fish as the Osteichthyes, which used to be recognized as a class of organisms.
Osteichthyes is still used commonly to refer to the two main types of bony fish:
- Ray-finned fishes, or Actinopterygii
- Lobe-finned fishes, or Sarcopterygii, which includes the coelacanths and lungfishes.
Classification of Bony Fish:
Evolution of Bony Fish:
The first fish-like creatures appeared over 500 million years ago. Bony fish and cartilaginous fish diverged about 420 million years ago. Read More About Fish Evolution.
Where Do Bony Fish Live?
Bony fish live in waters around the world. Marine bony fish live in all the oceans, from shallow to deep waters, and in both cold and warm temperatures.
What Do Bony Fish Eat?
How Do Bony Fish Reproduce?
Depending on the species, bony fish may bear live young or lay eggs.
Examples of Bony Fish:
Conjure an image of a "fish," and a bony fish likely comes to mind. Below are some species that are bony fish:
- Coulombe, Deborah A. 1984. The Seaside Naturalist. Simon & Schuster.
- Martin, R.A. Fathoming Geologic Time. ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research. Accessed September 27, 2011.
- Plessner, S. Fish Groups. Florida Museum of Natural History: Icthyology. Accessed September 13, 2011.
- Strauss, B. Prehistoric Fish - the Story of Fish Evolution. Accessed September 27, 2011.