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Wild About Illinois Fishes

Family Lepisosteidae - Gar Family

​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Lepisosteiformes - The gars have a cylindrical body that is covered with diamond-shaped scales. The long snout has sharp teeth. The dorsal and anal fins are placed near the tail. The swim bladder may be used for breathing when the amount of dssilved oxygen in the water decreases significantly.
Family: Lepisosteidae - Gars are covered with diamond-shaped scales that do not overlap. They have long, strongly toothed jaws developed into a beak. The body is cylindrical, and the caudal fin is rounded. Gars are often found in sluggish waters of rivers and lakes. The gas bladder is connected to the throat and does function in breathing to supplement the gills, allowing these fishes to live in oxygen poor waters. Gars are predators of other fishes.