Without a solvent, the chemical processes that occur in living organisms’ bodies cannot proceed, which can pose great danger. Water is essential in the body as it plays the role of being a solvent. Fish being a living organism, require water to help with these chemical processes. Whereas humans and several other animals meet their water needs by drinking, fish uses an entirely different method. They absorb water through the gills and their skins naturally while in water. How this happens is a complex process that should shed some light on an important process known as osmosis.
Fish, unlike mammals, cannot survive on land but live under the water. Whereas you as a human being would find it hard to live in water due to physiological complications, fish finds itself too comfortable with aquatic life. There are basic differences that make it easy for fish to live underwater easily and not human beings. How fish absorb water into the blood system is one of the processes that differentiate these two species. For fresh-water fish, their bodies are saltier than the freshwater they swim in. Their bodies are more saline, water is drawn through the gills, and skin into the body through osmosis.
Osmosis is a process by which water is made to flow from low concentration areas to areas of high concentration through membrane layers. A fresh-water fish with more saline body chemicals will allow water to flow into the body through the membranes. Water will flow from low-concentration water it is swimming in into the more concentrated body solvents of the water animal. Do fish get thirsty to want to increase water intake? Owing to the environment they live in, fish only naturally will have to be equipped with means of living under the water. As a human being, you can’t live under the water too long, or it can turn fatal.
Fish, like any other animal, need oxygen to live, or they will die from deoxygenation. Osmosis is not a means of quenching their thirst as mammals do because fish are never thirsty. Rather, their bodies need oxygen to perform the body’s important functions. While you can breathe in oxygen using the nostrils, fish can’t, but you both need oxygen to survive. In water, oxygen is made of two atoms that are bound together in a liquid form. While fish can derive their gas supply by breaking down this compound, human beings can’t break down the resulting compound and cannot live under the water.
Osmosis, therefore, involves the absorption of water solutes that contain oxygenated liquid to help fish live. Fish are also cold-blooded, which makes them needless O2. Human lungs don’t have enough surface area to absorb O2 in water as compared to gills. Saltwater fish have a different concept of how their body works, contrary to the freshwater counterpart. The surrounding water is saltier than their body fluids, so they will need to drink water by the mouth. Saltwater fish usually drink water naturally to maintain their marine fluid balance. Their kidney also plays a role in clearing salt from the bloodstream and helps them not shrivel up due to too much salt.
Fish’ bodies require a certain concentration of solutes in the bloodstream to function better. Their gills have special cells that pump in or out salt from their vessels depending on how lowly or highly concentrated they are. The freshwater fish constantly pump in salt to increase the salinity while their counterparts pump out salt to reduce the accumulation. All works by diffusion, which means the accumulation of solutes determines the flow of water. It is just like submerging one potato slice in freshwater and another in saltwater overnight. The potato in salt water will be crunchy by morning while the other counterpart will be soft.
The process for both types of fish is the same, the difference arising from the accumulation of water solutes. Fish cannot literally drink water like humans do but will allow water to flow in between their environments. The diffusion of soluble chemicals helps sustain them in water and makes them breathe. As such, fish are aquatic by nature and better adapted to survive in aquatic conditions.