Goldfish in General


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Cypriniformes

Family: Cyprinidae

Genus: Carassius

Species: Carassius Auratus

Subspecies: Carassius Auratus Auratus [1]


Single Tailed

Common Goldfish




Double Tailed

Common Fantail












Lack Dorsal Fin




Bubble Eye

Pom Pom










Common Goldfish


The origin and history of the domestication of goldfish mirrors that of dogs in the process used and consequences of carrying out such a system.  Both of these animals have drastically evolved from a very specific ancestor with the help of humans.  Due to this extreme intervention on the part of humans, the goldfish and the dog are very plastic and come in all shapes and sizes.


Various Species of Goldfish
(Click for More on the Effects of Domestication on the Goldfish)

Various Species of Dogs












Human-Goldfish Relationship
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Since humans have brought their inexperience and error into their playing the part of Mother Nature, the gold fish and the dog have suffered some consequences.  Although dogs and goldfish are domesticates just as cows and sheep, there is a vast, obvious difference in the human-animal relationship of pets compared to live stock.  The reasons for this can come from many sources but the root cause must be based on human perceptions and need throughout millions of years shown in different ways of domestication.  Unlike the domestication of species like cattle and sheep, goldfish have been subject to complete artificial selection with little influence from natural selection (Clutton-Brock, 2011, pp 233).





A mutation of carp kept for food, gave the normally silver fish a gold color.  Humans enjoyed this golden color and artificially selected for it and goldfish have been under complete control by humans ever since this mutation (Orme, 1979, pp 101-105). Goldfish will even revert back to their origin, colorless form in a few generations, showing the true dependence that this species has on humans (Masui, 1972, pp 16-21, pp 202-203).  The ability to control the phenotype of the goldfish sealed its fate and defined its role in human culture.  Since the domestication of goldfish is based purely on aesthetics, many variations like color, fin and body shape have created hundreds of breeds.  Just as with any human-animal relationship, both parties have been affected.

Evolutionary History of the Goldfish
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Impact of Goldfish in History


-Significant Impact of Goldfish in History

I. China 800 CE

II. Japan 1500 CE

III. Present Day

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