Do Fish Drink? | BBC Earth Kids

They spend their whole life in the water… but do they drink it?

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Hi I'm Maddie have you ever considered if fish want to drink living in water it seems plausible that fish would need to spend very little time keeping themselves hydrated in actual fact this couldn't be further from the truth in fresh water fish find themselves being bombarded by water.

Their bodies contain more salt and ions than the fluid around them so water tries to flood in through their mouth skills and skin to equalize the difference so to prevent their bodies from bloating freshwater fish eliminate all this extra liquid by peeing huge amounts of dilute urine in the sea the situation is reversed the bony fish here.

Contain less salt and ions than the water they live in so they are constantly losing water it's effectively being sucked out of them to stop them shriveling up and becoming incredibly dehydrated they drink sea water and lots of it they quite literally do drink like a fish consuming sea water is obviously not a good idea if you're a human the.

Vast amount of salt would actually make you thirstier than if you didn't drink it at all the fish have come up with a clever solution they pump out the excess salt across the their Guild leaving them with just the right amount of water sharks on the other hand have a very different approach to hydration their bodies actually contain almost the same.

Amount of ions as the sea water around them so water doesn't flow in or out as a result sharks need to drink very little to achieve this equilibrium sharks obviously need lots of extra ions in their blood in comparison to normal fish so where do they get them from well in this case sharks use urea to balance the concentration.

Urea is the stuff that's found in our wee they pump it around their body making good use of a waste product this is actually why a dead shark will often P however not all sharks are constrained to seawater bull sharks frequently hunt in rivers as well as the sea so they adjust the levels of urea in their body keeping in tune with the water around.

Them they can't adjust perfectly to fresh water however so they do end up absorbing a lot of fluid from the river as a result freshwater sharks have happy and awful lot so what about marine mammals the whales Dolphins seals sea otters do they drink well not very much the fish and invertebrates they feed on contain 60 to.

80 water so they get plenty of fluid in their diets in fact a study of California sea lion showed that whilst feeding on fish they could survive without drinking any fresh water at all so although they may not be drinking water they are getting all the fluids they need the truth is nothing on Earth can survive without that Miracle Juice.

We call H2O

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Do Fish Drink? | BBC Earth Kids