- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Vertebrata
- Superclass: Gnathostomata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Order: Gadiformes
- Family: Gadidae
- Scientific name: Gadus morhua
- Norwegian: torsk
The color is variable, but sandy brown perhaps with a green or red tinge is common. The belly is white while the rest of the body is scattered with darker spots. It has three dorsal fins. The pectoral (breast) fin is positioned behind the ventral fin, like on all other gadoids. The beard is another well-known cod feature. An almost white lateral line starts behind the gill cover, curves down towards the body center line, and runs towards the tail fin. The record cod measured 55,6 kg and 1,8 meters.
There are many different cod populations. Some live a pelagic life in large shoals in open sea, others spend the entire life along the shores. The cod can be found on any depth, from the subtidal zone and down to more than 600 meters.
The cod is widespread around the northern hemisphere.