Home Fish Science Do Fish have Fur? (Complete Scales Explanation)

Do Fish have Fur? (Complete Scales Explanation)

by gvald

Most fish have scales. Most of them, because some of them are without scales! However, we do not know to date of any fish with fur.


Are there fish with fur?

No, to date, no fish with fur is known to the general public. Most fish have scales. The closest animal to fish with fur is the otter, as well as the beaver.


The otter is an aquatic animal with some resemblance to the seal, and whose luxurious fur, with intense tones, severely shaded, is rightly highly valued and very worn in America.


What are fish scales made of?

Scales are made of a material similar to our dentin, called “cosmine”, placed above the lamellar bone.


Scales grow as the fish grows. This growth is seasonal and slows down in winter. The evaluation of the age of a fish by this examination is called scalimetry.


Scales grow by adding concentric layers. They are covered by a transparent and smooth integument increasing their hydrodynamic character. They are arranged so as to partially cover each other, in the direction from the head to the tail of the animal. This arrangement reduces the drag of the animal when swimming.


Are there fish without scales?

Yes, even if they are rare, they do exist. Apart from scales, the skin of fish can also be naked or made of a bony structure that forms a cuirass, sometimes even covered with teeth. But how did this skin evolve through the ages?


Fishes with radial fins, such as catfish or goldfish, constitute the most diversified lineage of vertebrates on Earth, with no less than 25’000 species, that is to say half of the vertebrates of the planet.


Far from being limited to scales, these species of fish can also have a completely naked skin or a bony armor sometimes covered with teeth, like some catfish for example


Can we use fish skin as leather (fur) ?

Yes, the scales are removed before the skin is tanned. From a visual point of view, it is the “pocket” in which the scale was attached that gives the leather its pattern. Depending on the species of fish worked, the pattern will be completely different.


It is therefore possible to make leather from multiple fish:


Salmon leather

In the range of fish leathers, the salmon skin was the first skin developed in the 90s.

They are taken from animals weighing at least 6kg.


Sturgeon leather

Sturgeon skins come from various European farms.

The characteristic of these fish hides is the inlay of silico-keratinous patches in the dermis which give an original aesthetic to these fish hides.

The skins are removed from the females slaughtered for the collection of caviar.


Julienne leather

Julienne leather has an appearance similar to fingerprints.

This appearance is not visible on the fish, a careful breakdown of the superficial fat tissue is required to reveal the grain.


Flake Carp Leather

Carp Scale leather has the particularity of having scales the size of a fingernail and is much closer to a reptile look.


Trout Leather

Trout leather is similar to salmon leather with smaller scales.

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