Gross Anatomy And Orientation

The anatomy of the salmonid is emphasized here because they are one of the most widely studied genera in terms of physiology and aquaculture science. Figure 1 presents the general orientation and terminology that will be used throughout this article. It also points out the major external features of the animal.

Figure 2 illustrates the general features of the internal organs of the salmonid. The muscle mass is, by far, the largest component of the body. The muscle mass, relative to the body, is larger in fish than in other terrestrial or aerial vertebrates. The dense medium of water requires a large force for locomotion compared to air. That same medium, however, provides substantial structural support such that the fish can maintain neutral bouyancy with a swim bladder or body lipids. It is also this great mass of muscle that makes the fish uniquely desirable as a food animal. There are two types of muscle in the fish: red and white. In most species of fish less than 10% of the total muscle mass is made up of red muscle. The color-oriented terminology is based on the visual appearance of two types of muscle. The red muscle appears darker because there is up to a 10-fold greater blood capillary to muscle fiber ratio in the red muscle compared to the white muscle. Red muscle is used for sustained swimming, fueled by aerobic glycolysis and lipolysis, while the white muscle is used for burst swimming, fueled by anaerobic glycolysis. The approximate weight distribution, in percent, of the major body parts of a trout are listed below.


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