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Question Set: What is a Fish?

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:

  1. How are the two scientific definitions of fishes by Nelson and Berra similar? How are they different?
  2. Why do you think that Nelson’s definition is considered more broad than Berra’s?
  3. What does poikilothermic mean? Why is this term less misleading than the term cold-blooded? Refer to Table 4.2 for definitions of words.
  4. Is a seahorse a fish? How does it fit your definition of a fish? How does it not? What if you use one of the scientific definitions?
  5. There are many aquatic animals that are called fish, like jellyfish and starfish, which are not fish. Why are these animals not considered to be fish?
  6. Practice using the term fish and the term fishes. For each of the following cases, indicate which term is correct (fish or fishes):
    1. A single skipjack tuna is a __________.
    2. A school of skipjack tuna is a school of __________.
    3. A school of eels, groupers, and wrasses is a school of __________.
  7. Why do you think that over half of the species of vertebrates are fishes?
  8. Why do you think that there are many new species of fishes still being discovered?

Table of Contents:

Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.