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Gar

Long Gar

Lepisosteus
Lepisosteus,a family including seven living species of fish in two genera that inhabit fresh, brackish, and occasionally marine, waters of eastern North America, Central America, and the Caribbean islands.


In American English the name gar (or garpike) is strictly applied to members of the Lepisosteus, a family including seven living species of fish in two genera that inhabit fresh, brackish, and occasionally marine, waters of eastern North America, Central America, and the Caribbean islands.

EtymologyEdit

In British English the name gar was originally used for a species of needlefish, Belone belone, found in the North Atlantic, itself likely named after the Old English word gar meaning "spear".

Anatomy and morphologyEdit

Gar bodies are elongated, heavily armored with ganoid scales, and fronted by similarly elongated jaws filled with long sharp teeth. Their tails are heterocercal, and the dorsal fins are close to the tail.As their vascularised swim bladders can function as lungs, most gar surface periodically to take a gulp of air, doing so more frequently in stagnant or warm water when the concentration of oxygen in the water is low. As a result, they are extremely hardy and able to tolerate conditions that would kill most other fish.

EcologyEdit

Gar tend to be slow moving fish except when striking at their prey. They prefer the shallow and weedy areas of rivers, lakes, and bayous often congregating in small groups. They are voracious predators, catching their prey with their needle-like teeth, obtaining with a sideways strike of the head.Gar feed extensively on smaller fish and invertebrates such as crabs.Gar are found across eastern North America from Costa Rica to southern Quebec

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