The scales of garpike provide protection via hard ganoin covering and lattice arrangement.

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"Fish scales come in a variety of styles. A few very primitive fish, including garpikes, have ganoid scales, diamond-shaped and forming a lattice pattern (diagram a). They are covered with a hard, shiny material called ganoin. Such scales were characteristic of many prehistoric fishes, loading them with cumbersome, inflexible armour plating." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:86)

The grand design: Form and colour in animalsBLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, LondonFebruary 20, 1983
Sally Foy

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