BioKIDS home

Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species

Local animals in this group:

herrings, shads, sardines, and menhadens


The fish family that includes herrings, shads, sardines, and menhadens is a large, global family with 216 species. Most species are tropical and almost all species in this family are found in oceans, although some are found in freshwater as well. Fish in this family are small to medium-sized, from 2 to 75 cm long. They generally have torpedo shaped bodies that are strongly “compressed,” or flattened. Fish in this family are strong and fast swimmers and generally travel in large schools, they typically feed on plankton. They are some of the most important commercially fished species in the world, many people and industries around the world rely on these fish for their livelihoods and for food.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

BioKIDS home  |  Questions?  |  Animal Diversity Web  |  Cybertracker Tools

. "Clupeidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 03, 2024 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
Copyright © 2002-2024, The Regents of the University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

University of Michigan