Boschung, Herbert T. Formerly, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Bailey, Reeve M. Formerly, Division of Fishes, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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An order of actinopterygian (ray-finned) fishes, commonly known as gars. The order Lepisosteiformes is variously referred to as Semionotiformes, Lepisostei, Rhomboganoidei, and Ginglymodi. Currently, the consensus classification places the fossil families (Dapediidae and Semionotidae) in the order Semionotiformes and the only extant family (Lepisosteidae) in the order Lepisosteiformes. The other ordinal names could refer to Semionotiformes or Lepisosteiformes, or both. These fishes first appeared in the upper Permian (280 million years ago) and reached their maximum development in the Triassic and Jurassic (250–130 million years ago). They persist in the Holocene (Recent) fauna as two genera, Atractosteus (3 species) and Lepisosteus (4 species). See also: Actinopterygii; Holostei
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