Domain: Eukarya~ Eukaryotic organisms which include plants, animals, fungi, and protists have membrane bound organelles, a plasma membrane, and a true nucleus.

Phylum: Chordata~ Chordates have five unique characteristics which define them as a member of this phylum. During some stage of development all chordates have a notochord, pharyngeal pouches, postanal tail, thyroid gland, and a dorsal, tubular nerve chord.

Class: Actinopterygii~ Members of this class are also known as the ray-finned fishes. They are bony fishes (in other words not cartilaginous fishes) with fins that are webs of skin supported by bony spines.

Order: Perciformes~ Perciformes are perch-like fish with one spine and can have up to five soft rays. Their dorsal and anal fins are spiny along the anterior portion and soft-rayed along the posterior portion.

To find out more about organisms in the order Perciformes visit the following webpages:

Pumpkinseed Sunfish 

The Black Crappie

Family: Sciaenidae~ Sciaenidae is a unique family in which the members can make a drumming noise by resonating their swim bladder with special muscles. Members are characterized by a long dorsal fin, large otoliths, and a distinct notch separating the spinous and soft portions of the dorsal fin.

Genus: Aplodinotus~ Only one species can claim to be a member of this genus and that is the Freshwater Drum or Aplodinotus grunniens.

Species: Aplodinotus grunniens~ The Freshwater Drum fish also known as the croaker, drum, sheepshead, grunt, etc. is the only member of its family found in a freshwater habitat! "Grunniens" is latin and means grunting which references the drum's unique ability to make sound.

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