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How Do Fish Breathe? (Grade 2)

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How Do Fish Breathe?

Mammals breathe through lungs. Earthworms and amphibians breathe through their skin. Fish breathe through gills.

Unlike mammals and amphibians, fish spend their lives underwater. Lungs must be dry to work properly. Therefore, fish could not have lungs. But fish still need oxygen to survive. To get that oxygen, they use their gills. Gills are special organs that help remove the oxygen from the water so fish can breathe.

If you look at a fish, you can see its gills. They look like feather-like pieces of skin on the side of the head of a fish. Usually a fish will have four gills on each side of its head. The feather-like parts of the gills are full of blood vessels.

To use its gills, the fish takes water in through its mouth. It then pushes the water out through its gills. The oxygen from the water connects with the blood vessels. This helps push oxygen into the blood of the fish. The oxygen travels to the fish's cells.

Fish need to pump a lot of water through their gills to get enough oxygen to survive, so you will regularly see a fish opening and closing its mouth as it swims through the water.
Mammals and amphibians have gills.
  1. True
  2. False
What do fish use to breathe?
  1. lungs
  2. gills
  3. skin
  4. eyes
Which object most likely resembles the gills of a fish?
  1. balloons
  2. bed sheets
  3. window blinds
  4. plastic bags
To breathe, what does a fish do first?
  1. pushes water out of its mouth
  2. gets oxygen from the water
  3. takes water in its mouth
  4. jumps out of the water
How does oxygen get to the blood of a fish?
  1. through its mouth
  2. through the water
  3. through its gills
  4. through the blood vessels
Which choice best explains why fish do not have lungs?
  1. because their bodies are not big enough
  2. because they live in the water
  3. because lungs do not provide enough air
  4. because fish do not breathe oxygen

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