Q:

Why do fish have scales?

A:

Quick Answer

Scales on a fish provide protection. Hard, sturdy and slippery scales prevent damage from sharp objects like coral, and they protect the fish from predators' sharp teeth.

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Why do fish have scales?
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Full Answer

Scales are bony and overlap, which not only protects the fish, but allows a gliding side-to-side swimming motion. The porcupine fish raises its scales to ward off predators. A shark's scales resemble teeth. Catfish and lamprey do not have scales. In addition to scales, fish have two layers of skin. The outer epidermis produces a slimy substance to ward off fungi and bacteria. The inner skin is tough and bony. Rings on a fish scale indicate its age.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Do salmon have scales?

    A:

    Salmon do have scales, and the scales have concentric rings that can be counted to determine the age of the fish. Salmon scales and skin do not have to be removed before cooking, which makes preparation easy.

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  • Q:

    How accurate are bathroom scales?

    A:

    According to research carried out at the University of New Jersey, digital bathroom scales are quite accurate down to .95 pounds. This does not reflect the accuracy of mechanical scales, which often vary slightly. Usually inaccuracies occur because of human error, rather than a problem with the scales.

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  • Q:

    Do goldfish shed their scales?

    A:

    Goldfish don't normally shed their scales. They sometimes lose scales due to skin infections, rough handling, banging against hard objects or attacks from other fish.

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  • Q:

    Do sharks have scales?

    A:

    Sharks have tiny, coarse scales called placoid scales, which reduce drag from the surrounding water. Placoid scales are also known as dermal denticles and structurally resemble teeth. The texture of a shark is similar to sandpaper when rubbing from tail to head and smooth in the opposite direction.

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