Antarctic cod

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Antarctic cod
Giant Antarctic Cod (Dissostichus mawsoni)

Giant Antarctic Cod ( Dissostichus mawsoni )

Spinefish (Acanthopterygii)
Perch relatives (Percomorphaceae)
Order : Perch-like (Perciformes)
Subordination : Antarctic fish (Notothenioidei)
Family : Antarctic cod
Scientific name
Gill , 1861

The Antarctic cod (Nototheniidae) are representatives of the perch-like (Perciformes) that occur in the waters of the southern hemisphere around the Antarctic . Their representatives dominate these regions and account for up to 68% of the fish fauna.


Antarctic cod are eleven centimeters to 2.15 meters long. From their external shape they resemble the cod (Gadidae) or the North Pacific hexagrammids . Your body is scaled and has one to three lateral lines . The first dorsal fin is supported by three to eleven spines, the second by 25 to 42 soft rays. The number of vertebrae is 45 to 59. The gill membranes form a fold on the isthmus . The mouth can be turned forward (protractile).

Way of life

Antarctic cod are strictly stenothermic and only survive at a water temperature of −2.5 to +6 ° C. Most species live benthically (on the sea floor), but some such as the plankton- eating Antarctic silverfish ( Pleuragramma antarctica ) are also pelagic . Some species are also cryopelagic; that is, they live under the ice shelf . The Antarctic cod do not have a swim bladder . Due to the very fat body tissue and a slightly ossified skeleton, they still have sufficient buoyancy . They have special anti-freeze proteins in their blood to adapt to the cold . In addition, her kidney is aglomerular. No kidney corpuscles are formed in her, the urine is not produced by ultrafiltration, but by secretion and diffusion processes in the kidney tubules . This prevents the loss of small molecules.

Internal system

There are over 50 types:

Gobionotothen gibberifrons
Notothenia angustata
Notothenia rossii
Paranotothenia magellanica
Patagonotothen ramsayi
Patagonotothen wiltoni
Black hake
( Dissostichus eleginoides )
Trematomus bernacchii
Trematomus scotti
Trematomus eulepidotus


  • Joseph S. Nelson: Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons, 2006, ISBN 0-471-25031-7
  • Kurt Fiedler: Textbook of Special Zoology, Volume II, Part 2: Fish . Gustav Fischer, Jena 1991, ISBN 3-334-00339-6

Web links

Commons : Antarctic Cod  - Collection of images, videos and audio files