Perch Paradise

Audie Choi Mitcham PAP Bio 6th


The perch (of the kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata, class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Percidae and the genus Perca), is a carnivorous fish that lives in small, shallow bodies of water (such as ponds, lakes, and streams). The perch is particularly predominant in the Great Lakes.

The perch is known for its long and rounded shape. The perch has many helpful adaptations, such as the particularly rough scales on its body and the opercula on the posterior side (which protects its gills).

The perch feeds on a diverse range of prey: smaller fish, insects, worms, snails, fish eggs, mussels, larvae, etc. The perch has a predators as well, such as the trout, bass, walleye, and other carnivorous fish.

The Point of This Perch Project...

The lab will give the students a deeper understanding of the anatomy (both internal and external) of the perch. Students will become familiar with the circulatory system of the perch.

Provoking Perch Points!

  1. The perch will occasionally commit cannibalism, as the perch has been reported to eat smaller perch!
  2. The largest perch ever caught was about 3 pounds.
  3. The perch is a very poor swimmer, which is why it swims in schools.
  4. Certain schools are separated by gender.
  5. Female perch lay eggs upside down.

The Circulatory System of the Perch

The perch's heart contains an atrium and a ventricle. Oxygen-deprived blood goes through this heart and to the lungs, making its way back to the heart after becoming oxygenating and going through the tissues. The perch's circulatory system is composed of multiple organs that help it function:

The heart- a muscular organ that aids in the circulation of blood

The atrium- a thin wall layer inside the heart that aids in blood circulation

The ventricle- a thick wall layer inside the heart that aids in the pumping of blood

The gills- the respiratory and excretory organs that let the perch exchange oxygen and ammonium. The gill-rakers filter the water, while the filaments convert the substances (thereby aiding in both respiration and circulation)

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Perch and Human Interactions

The perch plays a major role in the ecosystem, as it serves as both predator and prey. Unfortunately, the perch is also considered an invasive species in certain regions, as the perch is "overrunning" certain native species. Many people eat the perch and fish for the perch, however.

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