Cod Facts

Cod Facts
Cod is a type of saltwater fish. There are three species of cods: Atlantic, Pacific and Greenland cod. They inhabit cold waters of the Atlantic and Pacific ocean. Even though some species of fish such as rock cod, coral cod and reef cod have word "cod" in the name, they are not genetically related with "true" cods. Adult cods can be found on the sea bottom on a depth from 20 to 200 feet. This type of fish is part of human diet for centuries because of its tasty, white meat. Unfortunately, high demand for cods resulted in fast decline in the number of remaining fish in the wild. Out of three species, only Atlantic cod is listed as vulnerable (it may become endangered in the near future).
Interesting Cod Facts:
Size of cod depends on the species. On average, cod can reach 51 inches in length and 55 to 77 pounds of weight. Extremely large specimens can reach 220 pounds of weight.
Back side of the body is usually greenish-brown in color. Lateral side of the body is lighter, and belly is white in color.
Cod has three dorsal fins, two anal fins and one pair of pectoral fins. It has beard-like barbel on the chin, which facilitates finding of food (it acts like sensory organ).
Cod has white lateral line which stretches from the gill slit to the base of the tail. It detects motion, vibration and pressure of surrounding water.
Cod is carnivore (meat-eaters). It consumes other cods, sand eels, mackerels, haddock, mollusks, squids and crabs.
Humans are the only natural enemies of adult cods.
People hunt cods because of their meat and oil. Cod's liver is rich source of oil which contains vitamins E, A and D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Cods are slow swimmers that live in large groups called schools.
Cods can travel up to 200 miles to reach their breeding grounds during the mating season.
Spawning takes place from January to April, usually at depth of 660 feet.
Males often display their fins as a part of courtship. Newly formed couple swims together during the spawning.
Female lays up to 5 million eggs. Most eggs will be eaten by different types of fish and other sea creatures. Remaining eggs will hatch after 8 to 23 days.
Larvae are transparent and only 0.16 inches long. Their size will increase 40 times after just 10 weeks. Larvae eat fito- and zooplankton. Later (when they become larger) larvae will enrich their diet with small crustaceans. At the age of 3 to 4 years, cods become sexually mature.
Age of cod can be determined by the number of rings that are visible on the structure called otolith, located in the skull.
Lifespan of cod depends on the species. Atlantic cod can survive up to 25 years in the wild.

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