tarpon

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tarpon

(tär`pŏn), common name for members of the family Megalopidae, or Elopidae, large game fish of the warm seas of the Western Hemisphere, ranging occasionally from Long Island to Brazil and to the west coast of Africa and entering freshwater streams freely. Their heavy, silvery scales, sometimes used as ornaments, give them the name silver king. Tarpons average 6 ft (183 cm) in length and 150 lb (67.5 kg) in weight, although some may be over 8 ft (244 cm) long and weigh more than 300 lb (135 kg). Active and predacious, they prey on schools of small fry. They are deep-sea game-fishing favorites, particularly Megalops atlanticus, found in the warmer parts of the Atlantic Ocean. Tarpons are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Elopiformes, family Megalopidae, or Elopidae.

tarpon

[′tär·pən]
(vertebrate zoology)
Megalops atlantica. A herringlike fish of the family Elopidae weighing up to 300 pounds (136 kilograms) and reaching a length of 8 feet (2.4 meters); it has a single soft, rayed dorsal fin, strong jaws, a bony plate under the mouth, numerous small teeth, and coarse, bony flesh covered with large scales.
References in periodicals archive ?
Micropogonias megalops y la curvina Golfina Cynoscion othonopterus (Gilbert) (Pisces: Sciaenidae) especies endemicas del alto Golfo California, Mexico Instituto del Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable del Estado de Sonora.
Bajacalifornia megalops is known from the North Atlantic (Markle and Quero 1984) and from the South Pacific Ocean off Chile (Pequeno 1989) but not previously reported from the North Pacific Ocean.
(16.) Wells RMG, Baldwin J, Seymour RS, Baudinette RV, Christian K and Bennett MB: Oxygen transport capacity in the air-breathing fish, Megalops cyprinoides-.
Luxilus cornutus (= Notropis megalops)--UF 113782 (BU 87) (3).
The larval stages and megalops of Rhithropanopeus harrisii (Gould].
recurva related to watershed degradation also threaten other special-interest species that are uniquely adapted to southeastern Arizona drainages and wetlands, including the lowland leopard frog (Rana yavapaiensis), Mexican garter snake (Thamnophis eques megalops), Gila topminnow (Poeciliopsis occidentalis), Canelo ladies tresses (Spiranthes delitescens), and Sonora tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum stebbinsi; United States Fish and Wildlife Service, 1997).
1) are also included: Elops and Megalops (Elopiformes), Albula (Albuliformes), Notacanthus (Nothacanthiformes), Anguilla and Conger (Anguilliformes) and Eurypharynx (Saccopharyngiformes).
Lobsters (Penaeus) and other crustaceans, mollusks, and several species of resident, migratory, or seasonal fish--including many predators such as the tarpon (Megalops atlantica), the gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus), and barracudas (Sphyraena)--all find stable conditions and protection favorable to their young in these waters.
The zoea feed on plankton (while larger plankton and fish feed on them!) They molt repeatedly and eventually become megalops, with very large eyes, a large abdomen, and long tails.