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Lepisosteiformes: Body and jaws elongate; mouth with needlelike teeth; abbreviated heterocercal tail; heavy ganoid scales, about 50-65 along lateral line; dorsal fin far back, with few rays; three branchiostegal rays; interoperculum absent; two or more supratemporal bones on each side; maxilla small and immobile; supramaxilla absent; myodome absent; vomer paired; swim bladder vascularized (thus permitting aerial respiration); vertebrae opisthocoelous (anterior end convex, posterior end concave, as in some reptiles and unlike all other fish except the blenny Andamia. Maximum length about 3.0 m.

Families in this order: