Fish Scale Function
Date: Winter 2012-2913
How do scales help fish survive?
Scales confer protection being hard, help in camoflauge from predators by matching with environmental background and make their body more streamlined to glide in water.
Thanks for the question. Scales do several things which help fish survive:
1.) They provide camouflage protection.
2.) They provide reflection which may be used as communication amongst fishes.
3.) They provide a hard surface which may prevent parasites from burrowing into the fish's flesh.
4.) They provide a surface which reduces drag and makes for more efficient swimming.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
The primary purpose of fish scales is to give the fish external protection from cuts, scrapes and bites from other fish. The scales are hard, sturdy and slippery. Their shape and orientation on the fish’s body also makes it easier for the fish to swim through the water by reducing water drag. The scales also help propel the fish through the water as it wiggles back and forth. The scales also ooze a slime that makes it easier for the fish to swim through the water.
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Update: November 2011