Perch Perfect

Perch Dissection Virtual Lab by: Tina Liu - Vu - PAP Bio - 4


The objective is to give each student an opportunity to observe the placement and relationship of organs within a perch fish.

PERCA - the general information

How do we classify a perch? A perch fish is placed in the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Superclass Osteichthyes, Class Actinopyerygii, Order Perciformes, Family Percidae, and finally, Genus Perca.

Where can we find perch? Perch are most commonly found in freshwater small ponds, lakes, streams, or rivers.

What do perch look like? Perch have a lateral line system that is sensitive to vibrations in the water and opercula that protect the gills. They also have sharp spines in the first dorsal fin, anal fin, and mounted on the gill cover to provide protection against predators. They are grey to white bellied so predators from beneath do not easily view the fish from below; they have darker, green to yellow sides to protect from predators above them.

The relationship between the perch and its fish friends

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Map of the most occupied perch places

We can tell from the diagram that most of the perch in the United States lives in the Great Lakes. As we examine the diagram more, we notice that many perch follow the rivers coming down from the Great Lakes as well.

Circulatory System

A perch has a heart that consists of one atrium and one ventricle. The venous (deoxygenated) blood is pumped through the heart and to the lungs. After it is oxygenated, it goes directly to the tissues, then travels back to the heart. The blood makes a single circuit where it is pumped, oxygenated, distributed to the tissues in the body, and back to the heart. The circulatory system provides the oxygen to the muscles so the perch can function. A perch has a closed circulatory system, meaning the blood is pumped by a heart through vessels, and does not normally fill body cavities.
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Evolutionary relationship of a perch (cladogram)

Perch are placed in the class actinopterygii, so they belong in the ray-finned fishes classification.
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Perch Dissection
Perch Dissection Quiz

Think you know the perch anatomy? Test yourself on this virtual quiz!

Did you know...

As the fish grows, it develops a humped back!
Perch breed late spring, laying their eggs on any soft weed beds they can find!
Perch fish is consumed all over the world and it generates substantial commercial income from fish farming!

Human impact

The perch is consumed worldwide. The species alone provides jobs for people and boosts the economy. Its meat is cooked by cooks worldwide and is widely popular.