Aquatic animal

An aquatic animal is an animal, either vertebrate or invertebrate, which lives in the water for most or all of its lifetime.[1] Many insects such as mosquitoes, mayflies, dragonflies and caddisflies have aquatic larvae, with winged adults. Aquatic animals may breathe air or extract oxygen that dissolved in water through specialised organs called gills, or directly through the skin. Natural environments and the animals that live in them can be categorized as aquatic (water) or terrestrial (land). This designation is paraphyletic.

Jordania zonope
Longfin sculpin (Jordania zonope)


The term aquatic can be applied to animals that live in either fresh water (fresh water animals) or salt water (marine animals). However, the adjective marine is most commonly used for animals that live in saltwater, i.e. in oceans, seas, etc.

Aquatic animals (especially freshwater animals) are often of special concern to conservationists because of the fragility of their environments. Aquatic animals are subject to pressure from overfishing, destructive fishing, marine pollution and climate change.

Air-breathing aquatic animals

In addition to water breathing animals, e.g., fish, most mollusks etc., the term "aquatic animal" can be applied to air-breathing aquatic or sea mammals such as those in the orders Cetacea (whales) and Sirenia (sea cows), which cannot survive on land, as well as the pinnipeds (true seals, eared seals, and the walrus). The term "aquatic mammal" is also applied to four-footed mammals like the river otter (Lontra canadensis) and beavers (family Castoridae), although these are technically amphibious or semiaquatic.

Amphibians, like frogs (the order Anura), while requiring water, are separated into their own environmental classification. The majority of amphibians (class Amphibia) have an aquatic larval stage, like a tadpole, but then live as terrestrial adults, and may return to the water to mate.

Certain fish also evolved to breathe air to survive oxygen-deprived water, such as Arapaima (family Osteoglossidae) and walking catfish.

Most mollusks have gills, while some fresh water ones have a lung instead (e.g. Planorbidae) and some amphibious ones have both (e.g. Ampullariidae).

See also


  1. ^ Biology Online Dictionary: "Aquatic" Archived 31 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine

External links


Aquatic(s) means relating to water; living in or near water or taking place in water; does not include groundwater, as "aquatic" implies an environment where plants and animals live.

Aquatic(s) may also refer to:

Aquatic animal, either vertebrate or invertebrate, which lives in water for most or all of its life

Aquatic ecosystem, environmental system located in a body of water

Aquatic plants, also called hydrophytic plants or hydrophytes, are plants that have adapted to living in or on aquatic environments

Aquatic (album), 1994 album by the Australian experimental jazz trio, The Necks

Aquatics, another name for water sports

Aquatic respiration

Aquatic respiration is the process whereby an aquatic animal obtains oxygen from water.

Bottom feeder

A bottom feeder is an aquatic animal that feeds on or near the bottom of a body of water. The body of water could be the ocean, a lake, a river, or an aquarium. Bottom feeder is a term used particularly with aquariums. Biologists often use the terms benthos — particularly for invertebrates such as shellfish, crabs, crayfish, sea anemones, starfish, snails, bristleworms and sea cucumbers — and benthivore or benthivorous, for fish and invertebrates that feed on material from the bottom. However the term benthos includes all aquatic life that lives on or near the bottom, which means it also includes non-animals, such as plants and algae.

Biologists also use specific terms that refer to bottom feeding fish, such as demersal fish, groundfish, benthic fish and benthopelagic fish. Examples of bottom feeding fish species groups are flatfish (halibut, flounder, plaice, sole), eels, cod, haddock, bass, grouper, carp, bream (snapper) and some species of catfish and shark.

Cochin University of Science and Technology

Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) is a government-owned autonomous science and technology university in Kochi, Kerala, India. Founded in 1971, it has three campuses: two in Kochi and one in Kuttanad, Alappuzha, 66 km inland. The university awards degrees in engineering and science subjects at the undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels.


Dutuitosaurus is a genus of African metoposaurids, a group of amphibians that lived at the end of the Triassic period. Dutuitosaurus was discovered in the early 1960s in Morocco, in the High Atlas Mountains.

Dutuitosaurus was mainly an aquatic animal that used its paws and tail to propel itself. It had a long tail, suggesting that it swam after fishes and other prey. The largest individuals could grow to an adult size of 3 m (9.8 ft). As with all metoposaurids, the skull was very large, flattened and strongly ornamented. During growth, the back of the skull grew faster than the front. The orbits were located in front of the skull, a characteristic that clearly identifies the metoposaurids compared to other temnospondyl amphibians, in which the anterior region of the skull grew faster.

Dutuitosaurus is one of the most primitive forms of the Metoposauridae|metoposaurids, and the only African representative discovered thus far, hence its scientific importance.


Eusthenopteron is a genus of prehistoric sarcopterygian (often called lobe-finned fishes) which has attained an iconic status from its close relationships to tetrapods. The name derives from two Greek stems—eustheno- "strength" and -pteron "wing" and thus "strongly developed fins". Early depictions of this animal show it emerging onto land; however, paleontologists now widely agree that it was a strictly aquatic animal. The genus Eusthenopteron is known from several species that lived during the Late Devonian period, about 385 million years ago. Eusthenopteron was first described by J. F. Whiteaves in 1881, as part of a large collection of fishes from Miguasha, Quebec. Some 2,000 Eusthenopteron specimens have been collected from Miguasha, one of which was the object of intensely detailed study and several papers from the 1940s to the 1990s by paleoichthyologist Erik Jarvik.

Fauna of Maine

The fauna of Maine include several diverse land and aquatic animal species, especially those common to the North Atlantic Ocean and deciduous forests of North America. Some of these creatures' habitats has been reduced or fully removed.

Fish medicine

Fish medicine is the study and treatment of the diseases of fish. Although some practitioners work primarily with aquarium fish, this field also has important applications to fisheries management.

Fish medicine is a relatively recent veterinary specialization; veterinary textbooks in the English language were not published until the early 1990s. The United States does not have an official specialization for fish medicine, worldwide there are several professional organizations for veterinarians interested in fish medicine, such as the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association, and the International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine.

List of national animals

This is a list of national animals. As of 2009, a total of 231 national animal symbols exist globally. Of the 192 countries in the world:

142 (74%) countries have designated at least one national animal symbol;

71 (37%) countries have more than one national animal symbol.

Monster of Lake Tota

The Monster of Lake Tota is a legendary aquatic animal known in many works as diablo ballena (English: "devil whale") and is an inhabitant of Lake Tota in Colombia.

The Muisca, who inhabited the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, believed this monster was living in Lake Tota. The earliest reference in modern history was made by the conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada. He described the monster as "A fish with a black head like an ox and larger than a whale" (Lucas Fernández de Piedrahita, 1676) and Antonio de Alcedo, 1788 )). The monster was also defined as "a monstrous fish", "a black monster", and even as "the Dragon" and as a "divine animal archetype" (2012).


Potamogalidae is the family of "otter shrews", a group of semiaquatic riverine afrotherian mammals indigenous to Subsaharan Africa. They are most closely related to the tenrecs of Madagascar, from which they are thought to have split about 47–53 million years ago. They were formerly considered a subfamily of Tenrecidae.All otter shrews are carnivorous, preying on any aquatic animal they can find with their sensitive whiskers. As their common name suggests, they bear a strong, but superficial resemblance to true otters to which they are not closely related, nor are they closely related to true shrews. They move through the water by undulating their tail in a side-to-side motion similar to the motions made by a crocodile swimming.

Public aquarium

A public aquarium (plural: public aquaria or public aquariums) is the aquatic counterpart of a zoo, which houses living aquatic animal and plant specimens for public viewing. Most public aquariums feature tanks larger than those kept by home aquarists, as well as smaller tanks. Since the first public aquariums were built in the mid-19th century, they have become popular and their numbers have increased. Most modern accredited aquariums stress conservation issues and educating the public.

South Asian river dolphin

The South Asian river dolphin (Platanista gangetica) is an endangered freshwater or river dolphin found in the region of South Asia which is split into two subspecies, the Ganges river dolphin (P. g. gangetica)(≈3,500 individuals) and the Indus river dolphin (P. g. minor)(≈1,500 individuals). The Ganges river dolphin is primarily found in the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers and their tributaries in Bangladesh, India and Nepal, while the Indus river dolphin is now found only in the main channel of the Indus River in Pakistan and active channels connected to it between the Jinnah and Kotri barrages as well as in the Beas river in India. From the 1970s until 1998, they were regarded as separate species; however, in 1998, their classification was changed from two separate species to subspecies of a single species (see taxonomy below). The Ganges river dolphin has been recognized by the government of India as its National Aquatic Animal and is the official animal of the Indian city of Guwahati. The Indus river dolphin has been named as the National Mammal of Pakistan. and State aquatic animal of Punjab, India.

Spring viraemia of carp

Spring viraemia of carp, also known as swim bladder inflammation, is caused by Carp sprivivirus, also called Rhabdovirus carpio. It is listed as a notifiable disease under the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Symbion pandora

Symbion pandora is a jug-shaped microscopic aquatic animal that dwells on the mouth-parts of Norway lobsters. The animals are less than ½ mm wide, with sac-like bodies, and three distinctly different forms in different parts of their three-stage life cycle.


Tenrecomorpha is the suborder of otter shrews and tenrecs, a group of afrotherian mammals indigenous to equatorial Africa and Madagascar, respectively. The two families are thought to have split about 47–53 million years ago. Otter shrews were formerly considered a subfamily of Tenrecidae. The suboder is also presumed to contain the extinct clade Bibymalagasia, a group of possibly fossorial insectivores similar to aardvarks, which is known to be more closely related to tenrecs of subfamily Tenrecinae than to golden moles of suborder Chrysochloridea.Otter shrews are carnivorous and semiaquatic, preying on any aquatic animal they can find with their sensitive whiskers. All tenrecs are believed to descend from a common ancestor that lived 29–37 million years (Ma) ago after rafting from Africa to Madagascar in a single event. Tenrecs are widely diverse; as a result of convergent evolution they resemble hedgehogs, shrews, opossums or mice. All tenrecs appear to be at least somewhat omnivorous, with invertebrates forming the largest part of their diets.


Termatosaurus ("end lizard", because it came from the end of the Upper Triassic) is a genus of phytosaur, an extinct crocodile-like aquatic animal. Its remains come from the Upper Triassic and probably the Early Jurassic of Europe. Two species are known of this animal: the type species, Termatosaurus albertii, named by Meyer and T. Plieninger in 1844; and T. crocodilinus, by Quenstedt (1858). It is very obscure and apparently considered to be dubious.

Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary

Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary is located in Bhagalpur District of Bihar, India. The sanctuary is a 50 km stretch of the Ganges River from Sultanganj to Kahalgaon. Designated in 1991, it is protected area for the endangered Gangetic dolphins in Asia. Once found in abundance, only a few hundred remain, of which half are found here.

The Gangetic dolphins have been declared as the National Aquatic Animal of India. This decision was taken in the first meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) chaired by Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh on Monday, 5 October 2009.

Zoological medicine

Zoological medicine refers to the specialty of veterinary medicine that addresses the care of captive zoo animals, free ranging wildlife species, aquatic animals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, and includes non-domestic companion animals (or exotic pets). Zoological medicine incorporates principles of ecology, wildlife conservation, and veterinary medicine, and applies them to wild animals in natural and artificial environments.

As a specialty of veterinary medicine in the United States, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recognized the College of Zoological Medicine as the governing body of this specialty field since 1983. As such, zoological medicine is equivalent to other subspecialties of veterinary medicine (such as surgery, anesthesia, internal medicine, pathology, etc.), which are recognized and governed by their particular colleges.

The American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM) is an international organization composed of 152 members (as of May 2014), which recognizes, establishes and regulates standards and criteria necessary for veterinarians to be true specialists in zoological medicine. The board certification in zoological medicine encompasses expertise in general captive zoo medicine, aquatic animal medicine, avian medicine, reptile and amphibian medicine, and free-ranging wildlife medicine. A specialist in zoological medicine recognized by the College of Zoological Medicine is called a diplomate. Board certified diplomates of the ACZM serve as clinical veterinarians, zoo managers, wildlife veterinarians, wildlife conservation agents, researchers, teachers, government officials, and other similar leadership roles. Current certifying examinations are available in general zoo, wildlife, aquatics and zoological companion animals.

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