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Fishes of Yosemite National Park (1941, 1948) by Willis A. Evans and Orthello L. Wallis


FAMILY CYPRINIDAE

Minnows

Minnows are the dominant fresh water fishes of the northern continents. The term “minnow” correctly refers only to fishes belonging to this family rather than to just any small fish. They generally prefer the slow moving warmer streams or lakes at lower elevations and thus occur rather uncommonly in Yosemite National Park. However, three kinds of minnows may be included in the native fish fauna of the park. Members of the minnow family are rather difficult to identify as there are so many kinds that are similar in appearance. Minnows collectively may be distinguished from other fishes by the possession of toothless jaws, a few teeth located on the throat (pharyngeal) bones and a single, soft-rayed fin in the middle of the back. They are usually small in size but a few forms grow to lengths of several feet.



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