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Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin
(1983)

Pike family - esocidae,   pp. 391-414 PDF (12.0 MB)


Page 391

 
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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