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primitive freshwater fish found in the Mississippi basin, the Great Lakes, and E to Vermont. The bowfin has a light covering of rounded, overlapping scales, a large mouth, and sharp teeth. Its swim bladder is capable of functioning as a lung, and the bowfin can survive out of water for a day. It prefers sluggish water and surfaces occasionally to gulp air. The female, up to 2 ft (60 cm) long, lays eggs. The smaller male builds the nest and guards the young after they hatch. Bowfins are also called freshwater dogfish; they are voracious and destructive feeders on fish and invertebrates and are sometimes cannibalistic. As game fish they are good fighters, but they are not regarded as food fish in most parts of the United States. Bowfins 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 Amiiformes, family Amiidae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Amia calva), the only living representative of Amiidae of the superorder Holostei. The bowfin grows up to 60 cm long. The scales are cycloidal; the air bladder is alveolate and serves as a supplementary breathing organ. The fish inhabits shallow, extremely overgrown, and marsh-ridden bodies of water of North America, south of the Great Lakes. It feeds on invertebrates and small fish. The bowfin spawns in spring; the male builds the nest and guards the eggs and young. The newly hatched fish have an adhesive organ on their heads, with which they attach themselves to the nest walls. The female lays 20,000–70,000 eggs. The bowfin has almost no commercial value.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(vertebrate zoology)
Amia calva. A fish recognized as the only living species of the family Amiidae. Also known as dogfish; grindle; mudfish.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
What child would not like to read about all things honking and bowfin? His writing is a joy to translate."
The authors, all from the University of North Dakota, obtained genomic DNA extracted from two specimens of Macroderoides trilobatus (a Lake distribution record) recovered from a bowfin taken from the Lake by Snyder in 2001.
Though most of the specimens are vertebrates--like the ancient bowfin, which lives in swampy pools--some freshwater mussels and insects are also in the mix.
Z18684), rabbit fish (Chimaera monstrosa Z18674), European eel (Anguilla anguilla Z18673), bowfin (Amia calva Z18672), and browneye skate (Raja schmidti AF278683).
Groomsmen were John Fielden Bowfin, Samuel Abston Bowlin, William Johnson Bowlin, David Timbes Downs, Eddie Wade Ozbirn, K.M.
It is also the site of the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, the Battleship Missouri Memorial, and the Pacific Aviation Museum.
The species collected in the present but not the past are: bowfin, common carp, emerald shiner, and fathead minnow.
* Bowfin. Better known by its Cajun name choupique, bowfin is not related to, but is even more ancient than, the sturgeons.
At sea tomorrow, the vessel, a 30-year-old cargo ship would be torpedoed by an American submarine, the USS Bowfin, and within 12 minutes, it would explode, break in two and sink with the loss of 1,508 lives, including two of her own family along with 42 members from her home village.
Included in the state fish fauna are: one native species (longnose gar) that has been extirpated from New Jersey waters; 19 species that are known to be not native and to have been introduced to New Jersey, of which three (goldfish, common carp, grass carp) are native to Asia and Eurasia and 16 to other areas of the eastern United States and adjacent Canada; and 66 species that are presumably native, although three (bowfin, eastern mosquitofish, warmouth) of these species are so listed tenuously because one or more of them might have occurred, or been introduced (as the first two of these three species are known to have been), or both.
Pacific Submarine Museum and USS Bowfin Memorial, Honolulu, (808) 423-1341 and (808) 423-1341.