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gar,member of the family Lepisosteidae, freshwater fishes found in the warmer rivers and lakes of the S United States, Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies. Gars are highly predacious and destroy many useful fish. They are cylindrical fishes with long jaws and formidable teeth; their peculiar armature of diamond-shaped platelike scales, composed of a hard inorganic salt, is often found also in fossil fish. The largest species is the 9-ft (275-cm) alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) of the Mississippi valley. Others are the long-nosed gar, the spotted gar, and the short-nosed gar (all genus Lepisosteus). The name garfish is sometimes used for the gar but is more correctly applied to the saltwater gar (see needlefishneedlefish,
common name for members of the family Belonidae, which comprises species of elongated, surface-swimming predaceous fish abundant in warm seas. They have beaklike jaws armed with sharp teeth, giving them a superficial resemblance to the gar; some needlefishes reach a
..... Click the link for more information. ). Gars 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Lepisosteiformes, family Lepisosteidae.
The common name for about seven species of bony fishes in the order Semionotiformes having a slim form, an elongate snout, and close-set ganoid scales.
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