Pike and their relatives are easy to distinguish from other species of freshwater fish. However, difficulty exists when identifying members of this family. Northern pike, muskie and chain pickerel look alike to the novice but can be differentiated by the expert. Pike have scales on the cheek but the lower half of the gill cover is scaleless. The body has light oval spots on a dark background and the tail fin has rounded tips. Muskie have no scales on the lower half of both the cheek and gill cover. Coloration consists of vertical bands or dark spots on a light background and the tips of the tail fin are pointed. On the underside of the jaw, pike never have more than ten mandibular pores whereas the muskie have never fewer than eleven. Chain pickerel have both the cheek and gill cover completely scaled. The color pattern consists of dark chain-link markings on a lighter green background.
In the composition, "Water leopard," a northern pike is about to strike a yellow perch. Utilizing the speed of a leopard, the pike pursues the prey. Each is interconnected by the alignment which flows and suggests movement. Yellow perch are the mainstay of food for pike in many lakes. Nevertheless, they have achieved a remarkable distribution in Canada with the Yukon Territory being the only part where they are not found. Pike are found throughout Canada. Like the maple leaf and the beaver, northern pike and yellow perch are "truly" Canadian.
"Truly Canadian Wildlife Art"
MenzArt Gallery - Gil Menzies
Calgary, Alberta Canada
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.menzart.com
Return to Art In Canada´s Homepage Gallery