IctaluridaeNorth American freshwater catfishes

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The North American freshwater catfishes is a fish family found only in freshwater rivers and lakes of North America from southern Canada to Guatemala. There are about 45 species. Members of this family have no scales on their bodies and have 8 barbels near their mouths. They can grow up to 1.6 meters and over 50 kilograms but many species are small, weighing up to half a kilogram. These catfish are generally bottom-feeders and scavengers.

Contributors

Tanya Dewey (author), Animal Diversity Web.

Glossary

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

natatorial

specialized for swimming

tactile

uses touch to communicate