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."

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