The Perceptive Perch

Rachel Shen. Vu-PAPBio-2. Perch Dissection Lab

Perch (Perca)

The perch is a type of bony fish which lives in freshwater (especially in the Great Lakes bordering the United States and Canada). It belongs to the the family Percidae under order Perciforms under class Actinoptergii under the phylum Chordata under kingdom Animalia . It has a vertebrae and its outside scales are spotted. Perches have 5 different types of fins which help it swim and use gills to breathe through to survive underwater which it has adapted for better survival. They also have a 2 chambered heart with a ventricle and atrium. The perch also contains important vital organs such as a swim bladder, the intestines, kidneys, and anus. Perches consume food through the mouth and excretes wastes through the anus. They eat smaller fish, insect larvae, and shellfish. Its predators include larger fish (such as the largemouth bass) and birds (such as the hawk and gulls).

Dissecting the Perch

The perch was not an easy animal to dissect because of its thick skin which was hard to cut through. It also had many different organs inside and some organs in the dissection were not seen clearly as they would be seen through a diagram. Overall, it was a good experience to dissect and analyze this vertebrae.

Objectives of the Perch

Digestive System (Fish Focus)

The perch has a very similar digestive system that is like the human digestive system. It contains the mouth, the esophagus, the stomach, the liver, the intestine, and the anus. The function of the digestive system is very much like the humans and that is to consume food and to use it for energy. The food enters the fish through the mouth and exists through the anus as the fish excretes it through stool. During this process, it first enters the mouth and then runs down the esophagus as it passes the pharynx which is an elastic area between which allows the fish to hold more food. After going down the esophagus, it travels through the stomach, through the liver and intestine, and then finally excretes through the anus opening. It is related to other systems because the nervous system has to tell the organs how to function and the muscle system moves the food down through the system.

Cool Facts

Did you know that the perch's swim bladder holds air to keep the fish buoyant in the water through the water pressure? That's why it's so large in size!


Did you know that there are several different types of perch fish? This includes the Nile perch fish, the European perch fish, the yellow perch fish, the red perch fish, etc.


Did you know that people fish perch fish? Perch fish is a common fish that many fishermen fish. It is easily caught with the right bait.


Did you know that the perch has no eyelids? Fish don't have eyelids, which is why they keep their eyes open when they sleep.


Did you know about the pharynx? The pharynx is an area just behind the mouth which is very elastic and can stretch to keep the fish alive by helping the fish being able to hold more food.


Did you know about the heart? It's made up of two parts-- the ventricle and the atrium.