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Explore Fish

Fish (Wadarurrung: kuwiyn), are a large group of vertebrate animals that use gills to extract oxygen from the water. Within marine ecosystems fish are wild animals filling a wide range of ecological roles including as herbivores, predators, and scavengers.

There are two major groups of fish based on what their skeleton is made from with sharks and rays having cartilaginous skeletons rather than the true bone found in other fish.

Explore Bony Fish (Osteichthyes)

As the name suggests, the skeletons of these fish is made of bone and they also have thin web like fins supported by tiny rays making them very flexible. The bodies of most bony fish are covered with transparent scales and they can also be distinguished from sharks and rays by having only one opening for their gills.

Bony Fish

Sharks & Rays (Chondricthyes)

Sharks and rays have a skeleton made from cartilage and a skin covered by tiny teeth-like structures called denticles rather than scales. They can be distinguished from other fish by having multiple gill openings and a mouth located beneath the head.

Most of the sharks and rays found around Barwon Heads are relatively harmless to humans and unlikely to be aggressive however all should be treated with respect and given plenty of space.

Useful References

1. Fishes of Australia |
2. Port Phillip Taxonomic Toolkit |


Andrew J. Green (Australian Salmon)
Chris Davey (Mulloway)
David Paul (Long-fin Eel, Short-fin Eel)
Erik Schlogl (Mado)
imogen3184 (Tasmanian Blenny)
John Turnbull (Herring Kale, Long-snouted Boarfish)
Josh Moloney (Six Spined Leatherjacket)
Julian K. Finn (Blue-throated Wrasse)
Lachlanf (Black Bream)
Mark Rodrigue (all others)
Sascha Schulz (Dusky Morwong, Smooth Toadfish)
Steffan Howe (Western Blue Devil)
Wayne Martin (Moonlighter)