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Question Set: Structure and Function
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
  1. For each of the structures listed below, describe the function and some of the diversity of structures found in fish.
    1. Body Form
    2. Mouth
    3. Teeth (if you can see them)
    4. Eyes
    5. Nostrils (if you can see them)
    6. Fins
    7. Scales
    8. Color
    9. Other modifications
  2. Hypothesize a structure that might be adapted for each of the following conditions. (You can use Tables 4.4–4.17 for ideas.)
    1. Nocturnal fishes: active at night
    2. Diurnal fishes: active during the day
    3. Herbivorous fishes: eat seaweeds or phytoplankton
    4. Carnivorous fishes: eat other animals
  3. Body shape, mouth structure, and fins can be adapted to serve more than one purpose. Choose an interesting fish body form and hypothesize at least two possible uses for the shape, structure, or color. Be creative! (You can use Tables 4.4–4.17 for ideas.)
  4. Table 4.10 shows mouth modifications. In the example of a tweezer-like fish, the longnose butterfyfish is shown. Contrast this with the large mouth of a fish like a snapper. How does the mouth of a longnose butterflyfish compare to the mouth of the snapper, and how would you expect their diets to be different?
  5. Sketch or describe an ideal body shape (it may be imaginary) for each kind of fish listed below. Include mouth, teeth, body shape, fin structure, and coloration.
    1. Fish 1: continuous swimmer in open water
    2. Fish 2: hides in seaweed to ambush small prey
    3. Fish 3: lives among branches of coral
    4. Fish 4: finds food in or on flat, open sandy bottoms
  6. What kind of environment do you think a fish would live in that would make the use of barbels for chemoreception necessary?
  7. What purpose do you think cirri might serve for a fish if they are not sensory organs?
  8. Why do you think it is not necessary for fish to have eyelids? Think about how you use your eyelids and how your lifestyle differs from that of a fish.
  9. What is the function of the lateral line in most fish species?
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.