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Zeiformes: Pelvic fin with or without a spine and 5-10 soft rays; caudal fin usually with 11 branched rays (13 in grammicolepidids); dorsal fin spines 5-10; anal fin spines 0-4; soft rays of dorsal, anal, and pectoral fins not branched; body usually thin and deep; jaws usually greatly distensible; no orbitosphenoid; simple posttemporal fused to skull; swim bladder present; branchiostegal rays 5-8; vertebrae 21-46. Caproids have the lowest number of vertebrae and grammicolepidids the highest. All species are marine, most are deep sea.

Families in this order: