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The animal on the cover of Programming SQL Server 2005 is an arctic cod. The arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) can be found living in the icy waters off northern Russia, Greenland, Canada, and Alaska. It is smaller and thinner than its cousin, the Atlantic cod, and characterized by a deeply forked tail, projecting lower jaw, and the presence of a small-sized "whisker" or barbel beneath its jaw.
Little is known about the life stages of young arctic cod as they are bred beneath layers of ice in autumn and winter off the coast of Canada, and from January to February off the coast of Russia. It is known that females can release between 9,000 to 21,000 eggs, which are then externally fertilized by the males with a milky substance called milt.
Arctic cod become mature at three years and can measure as long as 15 inches but usually not longer than a foot. Weight is related to length with a 4-inch fish weighing less than an ounce and an 11-inch fish weighing over six ounces. The body size of the species decreases from north to south so that Arctic cod in northern waters appear larger than their southern family members.
Arctic cod can be found near the surface waters or as deep as 2,953 feet. In open waters, arctic cod swim in schools, but closer to the surface, they tend to live in much smaller groups. They can be found living in narrow spaces of water called "water wedges" between layers of ice. The water wedges are inaccessible to larger predators such as seals.
Adults have small scales and are brown-colored along their sides and back, with black spots. Fins are dark and nearly black in color, with a pale edge and a long pale line that runs along the side of the fish from head to tail. The arctic cod can live up to six years, and scientists can determine their age by counting the rings that appear in the ear bones of the creatures.
Arctic cod consume mostly plankton, which are tiny marine plants and animals that float near the surface of ocean water. They are themselves an important part of the food chain, and narwhals, beluga whales, and seabirds such as murres depend on them as food.
The cover image is from Wood's Animate Creation. The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed..