do flounder have scales

Do flounder have scales: Benefits of Scales and How to Clean It?

Yes, flounders have scales. The body, fins, and head of the fish are covered with cycloid scales. The scales are rounded and smooth without overlapping edges. Flounder scales can have different colors, mostly mimicking the ocean floor.

Flounders enjoy several benefits of having scales. They can adjust the scale color based on their surroundings to take camouflage. It helps them gain a streamlined movement to reduce water friction. Scales also work as a protective layer by covering the delicate skin. 

Flounder scales are tough but easy to remove from their body. You can use a knife to scrape the fish with the back of the knife to scale flounder. 

Features of Flounder Scales

The characteristics of flounder scales can vary for different species. Here are the common features you can notice among different species. 

1. Cycloid Scales

The scales of flounder can be classified as cycloid, like salmon and many other fish. These types of scales have some common features. They are rounded in shape, and one scale overlaps over the other. Therefore, there are no sharp edges on their scales. 

2. Embedded in Skin

It may seem like that the fish does not have any scale at the first glance. This is because the scales are embedded into their body. It makes the scales less visible. The close integration with the skin provides more flexibility. As the scales are difficult to notice, it helps them camouflage. 

3. Varied Textures

The texture of the scales of flounder can vary for different species. While some of them have mottled patterns, some are much different. This variation also comes in handy in taking camouflage. 

Benefits of Having Scales for Flounder

Scales provide a number of benefits to flounders. From protection to hunting, it offers a variety of benefits. 

1. Streamlined Movement

A major benefit of having scales for flounders is that the scales help them get a streamlined structure. Such a structure reduces the drag of the water during swimming. It helps them move faster with more efficiency. 

2. Camouflage

Taking camouflage is very important in the lives of these fish. Scales contribute majorly to effective camouflage. Flounders can change or adjust the color shade of their scales to get mixed with their surroundings. The color of the scales, being brown, often helps them match the color of the ocean floor. 

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There are many bigger fishes in the ocean that like the meat of flounders. Taking camouflage helps them to hide from predators like eels, sharks, and other bigger fish. Flounders have chromatophores in their skin. It helps them change the color of their skin to get mixed with the environment. The scales can also change their color as they are embedded in the skin.

Benefits of Having Scales for Flounder
Benefits of Having Scales for Flounder

These flatfishes are more intelligent than most other fishes. Their brain transfers messages to the cells to change color according to their surroundings. They take one of the finest camouflages under the ocean. 

3. Helps in Swimming

Swimming is an innate lesson for fish. They are born, live, and get caught or die in the water. Therefore, swimming is not a skill they need to learn. However, it is important to adjust the drag of the water for effective swimming. Scales help flounders reduce drag and swim comfortably. It also gives them some protection against the water pressure. 

4. Adds A Layer of Protection

Scales develop a protective layer over their delicate skin. This layer protects them from several things. The presence of scales prevents their skin from absorbing harmful substances. There are various kinds of harmful substances in water. Flounders can get sick if they get in direct contact with these substances. Thankfully, scales save them from such incidents. 

Scales also save them from minor injuries. Fish can get scratched by different substances, which could affect their soft skin. Scales prevent such potential injuries and keep them safe and healthy.

5. Flexibility

The cycloid scales of flounders are quite flexible. It makes their body, as a whole, quite flexible. They can bend their bodies in different directions for subtle movements and turns. This flexibility is important for their underwater survival. 

Flounders enjoy more speed and efficient swimming due to increased flexibility. With the ability to quickly turn around, they can avoid bumping into underwater substances that could be harmful to them. It helps them flee away from potential predators like sharks and catch their prey. 

Safety of Eating Flounder

Flounders are safe to eat, thanks to their scales that prevent harmful substances from contaminating their flesh. Besides, the fish has a high nutritional value. Here are the benefits of eating flounder for your body:

1. A Good Source of Nutrition

Flounders are highly nutritious food. An intake of 100g of flounder fish can give you the following benefits:

NutritionAmount (per 100 gram)
Energy 148.33 kcal
Protein18.84 g
Fat1.19 g
Carbohydrates 0
Sugar0
Cholesterol48 milligrams
Sodium81 milligrams
Iodine14.3 micrograms
Calcium29.34 mg
Magnesium50.53 mg
Vitamin E 0.83 mg
Vitamin C2.77 mg
Vitamin B-122.48 mcg

2. Boosts Your Immune System

A major benefit of consuming flounder fish is that the fish is high in protein. 100 g of flounder can offer you 18.84 g protein. Protein is an important nutrition for enjoying optimal health conditions. It boosts your immune system and helps you fight viruses. 

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Protein is also called the building block of the animal body. Your muscles can grow faster if you get sufficient protein. If you are trying to gain some weight or trying to build some muscles, you can incorporate flounder into your diet. 

3. Strengthens Your Bones

Flounders can offer you different types of minerals. It has calcium, sodium, potassium, manganese, etc. All these minerals have different roles to play to keep you fit and healthy. Calcium and potassium are especially essential to the development of strong bones. 

Sodium is important for maintaining the fluid balance of your body, nerve transmission, and proper muscle contraction. However, excess intake of sodium can be harmful. Thankfully, flounder offers a very balanced and safe amount of sodium. 

Safety of Eating Flounder
Safety of Eating Flounder

4. Offers Your Various Vitamins

Vitamins are essential for different physiological benefits. Flounders have vitamins E, C, B-6, and B-12. These are important vitamins that contribute to your optimal health condition. 

  • Vitamin B-6 aids in brain development, metabolism, and the production of neurotransmitters
  • Vitamin B12 supports red blood cell formation, nerve function, and DNA synthesis.
  • Vitamin C is vital for collagen synthesis, immune system function, and antioxidant protection. It promotes skin health and aids in iron absorption. 
  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It protects cells from damage, supports your immune system, and contributes to skin health.

Are Flounder Scales Edible?

Though flounder is a healthy fish to consume, you need to be aware of the scales. The scales do not taste good. You can eat them, though. With some effort, you may be able to eat them raw. However, it is better not to eat them raw. Scales often contain harmful substances that can do harm to your body. 

You can eat the flounder scales after cooking them. Adding scales to some dishes can enhance the crunchiness. Eating them as the main ingredient of a dish might not be an ideal recipe. 

1. How to Clean Flounder Scales

Scaling flounder scales is quite easy. All you need is a knife or a scalar. Use the spine of the knife to scrape off the scales. Move the knife from the tail towards the head of the fish. The scales begin from the head and are overlapped. Scraping the knife from head to tail will not be very effective. 

2. Benefits of Eating Flounder Scales

There are some potential health benefits of eating the scales of flounder. The scales are mostly made of collagen, a special type of protein. It improves your skin health. Flounder, a flatfish, is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is essential for your brain and heart health. Scales add a variation to your food, which can be a good change sometimes. 

3. Safety Concerns of Eating Flounder Scales

You need to be aware of some factors if you want to add scales to your diet:

  • You should clean the scales properly. As the scales are exposed to the external environment, they often contain harmful substances and bacteria.
  • Avoid eating raw scales. They can be harmful. They can also get stuck in your throat and cause choking. 
  • Eat the scales of the fish that are from safe water. If the fish is from a polluted area, you may avoid eating them. 
  • Cook them at the proper temperature. It kills the germs and harmful bacteria. 
  • Keep in mind the nutritional value. Though scales contain some amount of nutritional value, the amount is not high. Consider if the nutrition or flavor value is worth the trouble.

Other Fish with Cycloid Scales

Cycloid scales are common features of many fish. It is, in fact, the most commonly found scales in fishes. Here is a list of other fish that also have cycloid scales. 

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  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Tilapia
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Sardine
  • Anchovy
  • Perch
  • Bass
  • Pike
  • Roach
  • Whitefish
  • Sunfish
  • Bluegill
  • Shad
  • Smelt
  • Chub
  • Dace

FAQ

Does flounder have bones?

Yes, there are bones in flounder, like many other fish. Their skeleton is made of bones that support the structure of their body. Apart from the skeleton, there are not many other bones in their body. 

Do you need to remove the skin from the flounder?

It depends on your personal preference. You can cook flounder with or without skin. The skin adds a different flavor. The skin has a mild and subtle flavor. Cooking it with seasoning can offer a crispy texture. 

Is Flounder a tilapia?

Flounder is much different from tilapia. This flat, saltwater fish has a mild texture, which is almost similar to tilapia. Flounder is more nutritious than tilapia, so you can replace tilapia with flounder for more nutrition. 

Can you eat flounder raw?

Some studies show that it is safe to eat raw flounder. However, it is not safe to eat them if the fish is found in contaminated water. Flounder is often used raw to prepare different types of dishes.

Does flounder have fins?

Yes, like most other fishes, flounders also have fins. They have a long dorsal fin that is extended from head to tail. There are also anal fins and caudal fins on their body. These fins help them maintain balance during swimming. 

How do you prepare flounder for cooking?

You need to scale the fish first to prepare for cooking. Then, rinse them properly before cutting and removing the filet. You can remove the skin or keep it as is your personal preference. 

Conclusion

Flounders have scales, and these scales play a crucial role in their life. It protects them from different harmful substances, as well as helps them swim. You can eat the scales, but you have to be careful of a few things, including cleaning them properly. Fish can be a healthy addition to your diet.

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