There are three classes of Fish on Earth. One of which is Actinopterygii:
- The Chondrichthyes, or cartilaginous fish, such as sharks and rays
- Sarcopterygii, or lobe-finned fish, such as the lungfish and coelacanths. Although these do not live on The Great Barrier Reef, all tetrapods, including humans, are long lost descendants of them!
- Actinoptergyii, or ray-finned fish (all of the bony fish on The Great Barrier Reef).
Actinopterygii get their name because of their webbed-fins. These are held together by bony spines, which are called lepidotrichia. The fins are then connected to the proximal skeleton of the fish, at the radials.
Actinopterygii can range greatly in size, colour and lifestyle and have therefore become successful in oceans, lakes and rivers worldwide.
Below, you can find a list of all of the different groups of Actinopterygii found on The Great Barrier Reef.
Order – Fancy science word used to group organisms with similar characteristics