All About a Perch

Perch Dissection Pre-Ap Biology March 13, 2014- GABI MATA

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Perca flavescens (Yellow Perch)

The yellow perch is a species of freshwater fish that typically live in slow-moving, near-shore areas where moderate amounts of vegetation provide cover, food and protection. They prey on both plants (such as zoo plankton) and animals (such as larvae, small fishes, and crustaceans), making it an omnivore. Predators of the yellow perch are large fishes like basses and catfishes, birds like herons, eagles, and gulls, and human beings when we fish. The yellow perch can roughly reach lengths of eighteen inches, have several different colorings depending on their locations, have six to eight dark vertical bands found across their back and side (known to be its most distinguishing feature in comparison to other perches), and evolved from a common ancestor of the phylum Chordata, as they are a vertebrae.

The Objectives

Students will be learning about the external and internal anatomy of a perch. Students will observe the placement of the perch's organs and their relationships to one another as well as the body systems involved, specifically respiratory or circulatory. Students will also learn more about the ecological roles of the perch and about the fish in general.

Perch Dissection 101

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Watch This!

Get the inside look of the perch! Literally. The video attached below demonstrates a perch dissection of both the external and internal anatomy:

Perch Dissection:

External Anatomy

The external anatomy of a yellow perch includes all five types of fins: the two dorsal fins (spiky and soft) that stabilize and help turn the fish, the caudal fin that propels the fish forward, the pectoral fin that controls up and down movement, the anal fin that has the same function as the dorsal fins, and the pelvic fin that controls the direction of movement. Also, other anatomical external parts that are important include the perch's eyes that have no eyelids and the operculum, a hard covering that protects the gills.
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Internal Anatomy

Major components of the internal anatomy of the perch include the gills that help the fish to obtain oxygen and release carbon dioxide, the liver, the gallbladder, the heart that is composed of two chambers, the ventricle and the atrium, the stomach, the intestine, the swim bladder that helps control buoyancy, the kidney that rids the body of nitrogenous waste, the pharynx, the esophagus, and the anus.
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Cruising through Circulatory System

The perch’s circulatory system is a low pressure system in which its heart pumps the blood flow in a single circuit. Deoxygenated blood from the body is pumped through the heart forward to the gills. The oxygenated blood from the gills goes directly in the body in return. This demonstrates the single circuit of the perch’s circulatory system. Parts of a perch’s circulatory system include the gills, the two-chambered heart (divided into one atrium and one ventricle), dorsal aorta, and a number of veins and arteries. The circulatory system works hand in hand with the respiratory system of a perch as the blood needs to be oxygenated properly for the perch’s use. The circulatory system also utilizes the oxygen obtained from the gills when they enter the filaments to circulate the blood throughout the body.

A Better Look into the Circulatory System:

All About a Perch Quiz: Let's See What You've Learned!