Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Most widely used name for this species
The name of the animal in science
The area where the animal first came from
|North America and Eurasia|
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|0.5m - 1.8m (20in - 71in)|
Either freshwater, brakish or salt
|Optimum pH Level:|
The perfect acidity conditions for the animal
|6 - 8|
How long the animal lives for
|12 - 15 years|
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Grey, Blue, Black, White|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Slow moving water|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Fish, Frogs, Insects|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Eagles, Dogs, Humans|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Elongated body and strong jaw|
The pike is a large species of freshwater fish, natively found in North America and across Eurasia. There are five recognised species of this large predatory fish which are the American pickerels, the Northern Pike, the Muskellunge, the Chain Pickerel and the Amur pike. Pikes are also one of the world's oldest fish, thought to have been found on earth for the past 65 million years.
Pike are most commonly found in large bodies of deep, slow-moving water such as lakes, rivers and occasionally in large streams. Pike inhabit areas where there is plenty of cover from the reeds, where they are able to lurk until dinner swims past. Pike are found in North America, Canada, across Europe and into parts of western Asia.
Pike are generally quite large in size, but it is the female pike that often become the largest predators within their environment. Pikes can range in size from just half a meter, to 1.8m in length depending on the species and the area which it inhabits. The grey-green scales of the pike give it perfect camouflage when it is hiding amongst the reeds.
The pike is one of the most easily recognised fish in the world, mainly due to their elongated body shape and sharply pointed head. The teeth of the pike are one of it's most characteristic features as they are pointed and very sharp, to make catching prey more efficient.
Although young pike may have the odd nibble on plants. pike generally have a purely carnivorous diet. Adult pike primarily feed on smaller fish in the water that the pike is able to ambush from it's hiding place amongst the aquatic weeds. Pike also hunt a number of other animals in the water including amphibians like frogs and toads and invertebrates such as snails and spiders.
Due to their large size and naturally aggressive nature, the pike tends to be the most dominant predator within its environment and adult pike therefore have very few predators in the wild. Smaller pike however are preyed upon by mainly land-dwelling animals from foxes to large birds of prey.
As a rule of thumb, the heavier the pike, the more likely it is that the fish is a female as male pike rarely attains weights of 10 pounds or more. A large female pike can lay up 200,000 eggs at once although this number is often much lower, but is entirely dependent on the size of the fish. Female pike usually spawn in the spring when the weather begins to warm, meaning that the pike fry (babies) have the longest time possible to develop before the cold winter sets in.
Today, although still common across much of its native range, pike populations are being affected on both the North American and European continents mainly due to over-fishing and chemical pollutants in the water.
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First Published: 26th July 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
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2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 26 Jul 2010]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 26 Jul 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 26 Jul 2010]