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(Polyodontidae), a family offish of the order Acipenseriformes. The skin of the paddlefish is bare or covered with small bony scales. The snout is broad, flat, long, and shaped like a paddle or sword. The jaws are armed with numerous small teeth. There are two genera, including two modern and two fossil species. The species Polyodon spathula is found in the Mississippi River, Lake Erie, and rivers in the southern USA. They are up to 2 m long and weigh up to 75 kg. They feed on worms, water insects, crustaceans, and water plants and breed from March to June. Paddlefish have local commercial significance. The species Psepherus gladius is found in China (in the Yangtze River). They are up to 7 m long. They are predators and have little commercial significance.
REFERENCENikol’skii, G. V. Chastnaia ichtiologiia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1954.
G. I. LINDBERG