An aquatic animal is naturally an animal that lives in water. It is not necessarily a fish because some are mammals like the dolphin. Most have gills to breathe in the water, but this is not the rule, the whale has lungs and must go to the surface to take air.
Aquatic animals, like land animals, can be carnivorous or herbivorous depending on their diet. The carnivore eats other aquatic animals and the herbivore can eat algae for example. Some, like the turtle, will have an aquatic and terrestrial life.
Aquatic animals such as fish use gills to collect oxygen from the water to allow them to breathe. Gills are not able to function in the open air and the fish will die if it is not in the water.
Many marine animals, like the dolphin, have lungs and must breathe air. The whale has a breathing hole on the top of its head to breathe through as it moves in and out of the water. Some can hold their breath for very long periods of time before having to come up for air like the turtle.
There are aquatic insects that must lay their eggs in water and will go from larva to nymph and often become an adult insect capable of flight like the dragonfly.
There are freshwater animals and saltwater aquatic animals. A freshwater animal cannot usually survive in salt water. The same goes for saltwater animals. Each species has adapted to its environment and as many a dramatic change in their environment can kill them and even eliminate the species.
To move, fish have fins in different parts of their body, but their tail is their best means of propulsion. Other aquatic animals, such as some marine mammals, have webbed feet that they use to swim.
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