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Fish are gill-bearing aquatic animals whose limbs lack digits. Most are ectothermic (“cold-blooded”), allowing their body temperatures to vary as ambient temperatures change. However, some of the large active swimmers like white shark and tuna can hold higher core temperatures.
These animals reproduce by laying eggs. They also communicate underwater—in the context of feeding, aggression or courtship behaviour. Depending on the species, they can produce either stridulatory sounds by moving components of the skeletal system, or non-stridulatory sounds by manipulating specialized organs such as the swimbladder.
These species are abundant in most bodies of water. That’s because they’ve adapted to a wide variety of conditions. Therefore, they live in nearly all aquatic environments, from high mountain streams to the abyssal and even hadal depths of the deepest oceans. With 33,600 species, they exhibit greater diversity than any other group of vertebrates.