Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) larvae
Watercolor and colored pencil

The Atlantic Cod is probably one of the most important commercial fishes of all time. For many countries, fishing in the North Atlantic meant fishing specifically for this species- both for the meat and for cod liver oil. A typical year might see a catch of close to 2 million tons of cod. It has been fished so intensively that regulations are now in place in an attempt to avoid a severe decrease in populations.
Atlantic Cod are commonly found close to shore as they tend to feed along the ground. The distinctive barbel on the lower jaw is used as a food detector of sorts. It contains microscopic taste receptors which allow the fish to do a taste test before ingesting its prey.
This larval cod is approximately 4 weeks old and 10 mm long. The fins are not fully developed at this stage and the barbel has not begun to grow from the lower jaw.
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