What are minnows?

March 24, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

Minnow, often corrupted into minnie, is popularly applied in the United States to any small fish irrespective of species. In British usage the term is applied only to a particular species, the smallest common food fish of the British Isles. American scientists restrict the term to a certain species of small fish belonging to the carp family.

Further confusion is caused by the fact that some authorities call the largest family of freshwater fish in the Northern Hemisphere the Minnow family, which includes many small fish, but also many large ones, such as the eighty pound white salmon and the western squawfish, which attains a length of several feet. The young of the larger fish, especially when they are less than two and a half inches long, are properly called fry. Minnow is supposed by some authorities to be derived from Latin minutus, meaning small.

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