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© 2005 Greg McDonald
© 2008 Miguasha National Park, Quebec
© 2005 Yale Peabody Museum
What are Fishes? The fishes include all the vertebrates that are not tetrapods. Most fishes have an elongate body, fins in different arrangements, and some type of body covering like scales or bony plates. Most breathe by means of gills, and all but the agnathans have jaws. All have skeletons composed of bone, except for the sharks and their relatives, whose skeletons are cartilaginous. Fishes have been around since the Cambrian, and different forms have been very diverse throughout the Phanerozoic.
First known fossil occurrence: Cambrian.
Last known fossil occurrence: Quaternary. This group has living relatives.
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