Image: Gar

Gar (Anglo-Saxon "gr

Gar (Anglo-Saxon "gr,"spear), name commonly given to certain fishes with long, narrow bodies and bony, sharp-toothed beaks. These primitive fish are primarily freshwater. They range from southern Quebec through eastern North America to Cuba and Costa Rica. The largest, the tropical gar, reaches a length of 3.7 m (12 ft). The teeth are needlelike, and the dorsal fin sits far back on the heavily-scaled body. The swim bladder, which can act as a lung, has blood vessels that enable the gar to breathe in stagnant water. The vertebrae have a ball-and-socket structure similar to that found in some reptiles. The fish spawn in the spring in large groups, and their eggs are poisonous to many animals, including humans.

"`Scientific classification:"` Gars

"`Scientific classification:"` Gars constitute the gar family, Lepisosteidae. Gars are classified in the two subgenera "Lepisosteus" and "Atractosteus."

Recommended for you

Read more about the full history of the world

Fritillary (plant)

Fritillary (plant), common name for herbs that grow from bulbs and have drooping, bell-shaped flowers, often checkered with brown or purple. The na...


Painted Lady (butterfly)

Painted Lady (butterfly), also known as the thistle butterfly and the cosmopolite, common name for the most widespread and perhaps most abundant bu...


Sea Hare

Sea Hare, common name for any of a group of marine snails with greatly reduced shells. The sea hare somewhat resembles a nudibranch (sea slug) exce...