Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin
Pike family - esocidae, pp. 391-414 PDF (12.0 MB)
Pike Family- Esocidae Three species of pike occur in Wisconsin. The family includes five spe- cies in one genus. One species, the northern pike, occurs in North America, Europe, and northern Asia; one species is endemic to Siberia; and three are endemic to eastern North America. Although best repre- sented by four species in North America, this family is of Eurasian an- cestry. In the Old World it is known from the Middle Eocene; in North America it is known from the Pliocene. The body is elongate and the head is much depressed anteriorly; it is often said to be duckbilled. The jaws and mouth are well armed with teeth. Intermuscular bones are forked or Y-shaped. A single dorsal soft- rayed fin is positioned far back on the body. All pike are fish eaters and highly predacious; the stomachs are long and the intestines short. Two species, the northern pike and the muskel- lunge, are among the largest carnivorous fish in Wisconsin and are much sought after by sport fishermen. 391
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