selfgrowth Exploring HumannessExamples range from the tiny seahorse to the 450 kg 1,000 pound blue marlin, from the flattened soles and flounders to the boxy puffers and ocean sunfishes. Unlike the scales of the cartilaginous fishes, those of bony fishes, when present, grow across life and are made up of thin overlapping plates of bone. Bony fishes also have an operculum that covers the gill slits. The study of fishes, the science of ichthyology, is of broad significance. Fishes are of interest to humans for many reasons, the most essential being their courting with and dependence on the atmosphere. A more obvious reason for attention in fishes is their role as a mild but crucial a part of the area’s food supply.