Vertebrate Zoology Lab IV- "Osteichthyes"

This lab corresponds to Lab 5 in Gergus and Schuett. Look at the fish in the jars. Look at them with an eye towards identifying external morphological characters (e.g., fins, operculum, lateral line). By looking at the external morphology of these fishes, can you make an educated guess where these fish live (open water, bottom, in crevices???) or on what they feed (carnivores, herbivores)? How about their ability to swim (fast swimmer, slow swimmers)? Hint: Notice the different body shapes, caudal fin shapes and location of the mouth.

Examine the fossils (some real, others are replicas) to get a feel for the diversity of these organisms.

Observe the fish in the aquarium. Look at how they swim. What are the functions of the various fins (caudal, pelvic, pectoral, anal, dorsal)?


Know the major characteristics of the taxa: Actinopterygii, Dipnoi


Know synapomorphies which unite the taxa into monophyletic taxa (Figure 5.1)

Know the synapomorphies for the Chordata ,Craniata and Gnathostomata. Be able to identify these structures on any appropriate specimens.


In these specimens, be able to identify the following strctures: pelvic fins, pectoral fins, dorsal fin, anal fin, caudal fin, scales, pectoral girdle, pelvic girdle, lateral line, mouth, nares, teeth, gill slits, gill arches, dentary bone, hyoid arch, branchial arches, foramen magnum, vertebral column, myomeres, myosepta, operculum, lungs, gas bladder.

Answer: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q6, Q35, Q36, Q38, Q39, Q42,


Skip: Figures 5.2, 5.3, pp. 113- 121; Figure 5.13;