Respiration in Fish
In aquatic animals such as fish respiration takes place through special respiratory organs called gills, however lung fish respiration takes place through lungs. Gills are present on both the sides of the head of fish. The gills are covered by gill covers also called operculum. When the fish open its mouth, water is drawn into the buccal cavity and passed through the gills. The gills contain special type of cells that absorb the oxygen present in water. The absorbed oxygen is then supplied to all the cells of body through blood. In the cells, oxygen is converted into carbon dioxide and returned back to gills through blood. Ultimately, the gills release the carbon dioxide in water passing through them.
The gills of fish are very efficient; it is estimated gills can extract about 80% oxygen dissolved in water. In addition to the respiratory organs, the gills have an important role in maintaining the right balance of salts in the body.
Test Your Understanding and Answer These Questions:
- Name the respiratory organ of fish.
- Describe the mode of respiration in fish.