Osteichthyes are a taxonomic grouping of bony fishes. This group includes ray-finned fishes (class: Actinopterygii) and lobe-finned fishes (class: Sarcopterygii). This highly diverse group of fishes, which contains almost all fish species, is the most diverse group of vertebrates today. Osteichthyes differ from chondrichthyes by (in most cases) possessing a bony skeleton, a swim bladder, scales (ctenoid, cycloid, or ganoid scales), and external fertilization.
Placoid denticles are found on sharks, rays, and chimaeras. Not really a true “scale,” like ctenoid or cycloid scales, placoid denticles are actually modified teeth. They have an inner tissue component, which contains both blood vessels and nerves, that is covered by a layer of dentin and an outer enamel. They form a tough protective skin layer for sharks, rays, and chimaeras and also have shown to reduce friction and drag so that these fish can swim more efficiently through water.
Cycloid scales are smooth-edged scales predominately found in lower order teleost fishes, such as salmon, carp and other soft fin rayed fish. Similar to ctenoid scales, they are overlapping which allow for greater flexibility in movement than other types of scales such as ganoid scales. The surface layer of the scale is comprised of calcium-based salts and the inner layer is predominately collagen. As a fish grows, its scales grow, adding concentric layers, similar to tree rings. For certain species, these rings can be counted to estimate the age of a fish.