Order Summary for Polypteriformes

  Main Ref
:
  Order
:
Polypteriformes bichirs
  Class
:
Actinopterygii
  Sister Order
:
Acipenseriformes 200 M years
  Ref.
:
  First Fossil Record
:
middle Jurassic
  Occurs in
:
Marine
Fresh
Brackish
  Remark
:
Rhombic ganoid scales; spiracular, opening large but canal lost; dorsal fin consisting of 5-18 finlets, each with a single spine to which is attached one or more soft rays; pectoral fin rays supported by numerous ossified radials which attach to a cartilaginous plate and two rods, thence to the scapula and coracoid; a pair of gular plates, no branchiostegals; maxilla firmly united to skull; intestine with spiral valve; lungs partially used in respiration; vertebrae with ossified centra and neural canal. Maximum length about 90 cm, most species less than 30 cm.
  Class etymology
:
Greek aktis = ray, thunderbolt, beam + Greek pterygion, diminutive of pteryx = wing, fin. Ref. 45335.
  Order etymology
:
Greek, poly = a lot of + Greek, pteron = fin + Latin, forma = shape (Ref. 45335).
  Families
:
( n = 1 ) -
Polypteridae

Ref.
[ e.g. 9948]                       
Glossary
                    [ e.g. cephalopods]

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