Cyprinidae – carps and Minnows

Cyprinidae is the largest family of freshwater fishes. They are generally small fish (< 6 in.) but the largest cyprinid, the giant barb, can reach up to 10 feet. Cyprinids have no teeth in their jaws, but they have special teeth in their throat, called pharyngeal teeth, that are used to chew their food. They also lack a stomach. Nutrients are absorbed as they pass through the intestines. Their diet is mainly vegetation and small invertebrates. Cyprinids are thought to have a sophisticated sense of hearing. They possess a Weberian organ, a modification of several vertebral bones, which can pass sound waves from the swim bladder to the inner ear. Though most species in this family are strictly freshwater, there are a few can be found in brackish waters.