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an order of fishes having an elongate body covered with cycloid scales. The lateral line passes along the lower margin of the body. The dorsal and anal fins are located in the posterior part of the body. Beloniformes are widely distributed in warm and temperate waters. The fishes live in the open ocean, shallows, littoral waters, and even fresh waters. They inhabit mainly surface layers of water. There are four families: Hemiramphidae, Exocoetidae, Belonidae, and Scom-beresocidae. In Hemiramphidae and Belonidae the bones are bright green. The majority of species (including all marine ones) lay eggs, but some freshwater forms of the Hemiramphidae are viviparous. Beloniformes have some commercial significance.