Northern pike ( Esox lucius )
|Linnaeus , 1758|
The pike ( Esox ) are a genus of spindle-shaped predatory fish with seven species that live in Europe, North America and North Asia. The pike ( Esox lucius ) has the widest range and occurs in a circumpolar manner, the Amur pike ( Esox reicherti ) lives in the Amur river basin and on Sakhalin , the other three species are restricted to eastern North America. Pike are predatory fish and feed on other fish, frogs , newts , mice , rats and young ducks, and occasionally even crabs .
Pikes have a cylindrical body (only slightly flattened on the sides) and a wide, duck-bill-shaped mouth with around 700 pointed, backward-curved teeth ( canine and brush teeth). The dorsal fin and anal fin are shifted far back and, together with the caudal fin, form a rudder, which enables the shock predators to advance quickly on the prey. The pelvic fins sit in the middle of the body. The caudal fin is forked and has 40 to 50 fin rays , 17 of which are branched. No fin has hard rays. Pike have small round scales , the lateral line organ is complete. The swim bladder is connected to the foregut by a pneumatic duct . Pike grow to a length of 40 centimeters to a maximum of 1.80 meters, depending on the species. The number of vertebrae is 43 to 67.
The genus Esox has two subgenera and seven species:
- Subgenus Esox
- Kenoza subgenus
The "tiger pike" is a cross between the European pike and the muscle lung.
In addition to Esox , two genera, Dallia and Novumbra , which were previously classified as dogfish (Umbridae) , have recently been added to the Esocidae family . Recent phylogenetic studies have shown that these genera are more closely related to Esox than to Umbra . Novumbra is the sister group of Esox , which together are the sister group of Dallia . All three genera together are the sister group of Umbra .
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