Cyprinidae (Minnow and Carp Family) is the most diverse and dynamic family of Fish in the world. This Freshwater Fish Family alone includes over 2,000 species. Many people believe that only small Fish called “minnows” belong to this family. However larger Fish such as White Amur, Carp and Goldfish are also Cyprinidae.
What defines a Cyprinid is not size but body type. All true “Minnows” have forked, lobed tails and only one dorsal fin. In addition, They have scaleless heads, with smooth-feeling scales on their bodies. Because of their toothless jaws, Cyprinidae’ teeth are located in their throats.
As They move freely about in big lakes and small streams, Members of the Minnow and Carp Family are highly visible. Many different kinds of Minnows can be found together. Because of their small size, They can find sufficient food and shelter while living amongst other Minnows.
Not only can They live in the same places, Cyprinidae intermingle as well. Stonerollers and Fallfish build nests to spawn in. Other Minnows use these stone mounds for spawning. Hybridization occurs naturally among various Minnows using these nests. Even larger Cyprinidae like Carp and Goldfish can interbreed.
A main characteristic of the Minnow and Carp Family is their adaptability. For example, Carp and Goldfish, both native to Asia, are now prolific in Australia and North America. In the late 1800s, people released Carp into native streams for sport fishing. Meanwhile, well-meaning people released their pet Goldfish into the wild. Feral Goldfish can now be found in many streams and rivers.
Cyprinidae occupy a niche in many ecosystems. Carp voraciously feed on stream bottoms, clearing the stream of choking aquatic plants. Stonerollers push stones into small piles for their nests. These piles provide shelter for other aquatic life. Other Minnows provide food for Birds, Mammals, and other Fish.
Minnows do more than swim. Members of the Minnow and Carp Family provide a basis for life that is important. Let Them help you find your place.
Take time to read what the individual Minnow and Carp Family members have to teach.
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