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Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous–recent[1]
Northern pike (E. lucius)
Scientific classification
Type species
Esox lucius

Esox is a genus of fresh water fish. It is the only living genus in the family Esocidae. The oldest known example of an Esox is Esox tiemani.[2] It dates to about 62 million years ago and was found in Alberta, Canada.[2] They are commonly called pike and pickerel. They are found in the northern parts of North America, Europe and Asia.[3] One species, Esox lucius, the Northern pike, is found in both Europe and North America.[3] Esox are large predatory fish with a long cylindrical body. They have a green color (various shades) with yellow eyes. Pike and pickerel share a forked tail fin and a large pointed head.[3] Their dorsal and anal fins are located far back on their bodies.[3] All species have very sharp teeth.

Species[change | change source]

Currently there are five species in the Esox genus. The study of this family is not complete. There are several known hybrids between species which occur naturally.[4] The five species are:

There is an extinct species called Esox tiemani.

Forage[change | change source]

All species of Esox are predatory feeders.[6] They eat other fish, small mammals and birds.[6] Pike will eat almost anything that doesn't eat them first.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2008). "Esocidae" in FishBase. December 2008 version.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Joseph S. Nelson, Fishes of the World (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2006), p. 205
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Lawrence M. Page; Brooks M. Burr, Peterson Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of North America North of Mexico (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), p. 60
  4. Pike: Biology and Exploitation ed. John Craig (London: Chapman & Hall 1996), p. 2
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Fishes of the Middle Savannah River Basin: With Emphasis on the Savannah , ed. Barton C. Marcy (Athens, GA; London: University of Georgia Press, 2005), p. 241
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mark Everard, Britain's Freshwater Fishes (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013), p. 94
  7. Vin T. Sparano, The Complete Outdoors Encyclopedia (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Griffin, 2000), p. 482

Other websites[change | change source]