Boschung, Herbert T. Formerly, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
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- Suborder Triacanthodoidei
- Suborder Balistoidei
- Suborder Tetraodontoidei
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An order of actinopterygian (ray-finned) fishes that includes the triggerfishes, puffers, trunkfishes, boxfishes, porcupinefishes, spikefishes, and molas; also known as the Plectognathi. The members of the order Tetraodontiformes, a most highly derived group of actinopterygian fishes, are noted for their reduction in skeletal elements. Lost elements include the parietal, nasal, and infraorbital bones of the skull. In addition, there usually are no pleural ribs, vertebrae are as few as 16 and no more than 30, and the maxillae are united with the premaxillae. The gill opening is a short vertical slit in front of the pectoral fin. Scales are usually modified to form spines, shields, or plates; a lateral line may be present or absent; and a swim bladder is present, except in the family Molidae. The approximately 400 extant species belong to 3 suborders, 9 or 10 families, and about 100 genera. See also: Actinopterygii; Osteichthyes; Scale (zoology); Swim bladder; Teleostei
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