Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Feyerherm, Harvey A.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biology


Blood cells; Fishes


In comparison to the higher vertebrates there has been little physiological work done on the lower vertebrates, especially the fishes. Most of what is written about fresh water fish is done so from the standpoint of the taxonomist and ecologist. This is probably due, in part, to the fact that fish are often difficult to collect and maintain for experimental purposes. Fish blood studies in particular are difficult for a variety of reasons. The limited blood volume, the ease with which it can become contaminated by body fluids or mucous, and the extreme rapidity with which it clots are all obstacles to critical studies. It is difficult to see how the findings of the ecologist can be of much value without knowing how these findings are related to the internal functioning of the fish. To understand and interpret accurately the findings of the ecologist a thorough knowledge of the physiology seems essential. Just as with the mammal, the over-all physiological picture of the fish can often be ascertained from an examination of blood components. Signs of disease or ill health frequently show up long before they can be noticed externally. Generally speaking, once a sign of disease or sickness in a fish can be detected externally the sickness is too well established for the fish to be helped back to permanent health. A knowledge of fish blood in health and disease should be of extreme importance to the fish culturist who deals with the hatching and rearing of fish and also to the fish biologist who deals with such things as the effects of pollutants on fish life.


Includes bibliographical references (leaf 35)


35 pages




Northern Illinois University

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