National Wildlife Federation

Fish

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Some common fish are catfish, sharks, salmon, trout and sturgeon.

To identify an animal as a fish, it should have these characteristics:

  • Fish live in water.
  • Fish have a backbone. They are vertebrates.
  • Fish breathe using gills. They absorb oxygen through the gills.
  • Almost all fish are cold-blooded. Two of the exceptions are the tuna and the Pacific salmon shark, which can raise their body temperature to some degree.
  • Some fish have scales.

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