Gars (Ginglymodi, Lepisosteiformes) belong to the family Lepisosteidae and are among the most primitive of predatory fishes. Together with their closest relatives the bowfins, they make the group Holostei.
For more detailed information on gars please visit LEPISOSTEIDAE.NET
Gars are easily identified from other fishes by their elongate snout (uniquely elongate in the ethmoid region of the skull) containing numerous conical sharp teeth and their interlocking, diamond-shaped ganoid scales (Polypterids also possess ganoid scales, but are different in composition).
Lepisosteids possess a modified gas bladder (highly vascularized; connection between throat and gas bladder) which serves as a lung for facultative air-breathing. Gars breathe air when activity levels are high and/or dissolved oxygen levels are low.
Although once found on several continents, extant members of this family are presently relegated to North & Central America and Cuba, represented by two genera and seven species.
Extinct Species (images coming soon)
L. opertus (Estes 1964)
L. indicus (Woodward 1908)
L. fimbriatus (Wood 1846)
A. strausi (Kinkelin 1884)
A. simplex (Leidy 1873)
A. africanus (Arambourg & Joleaud 1943)
A. occidentalis (Leidy 1856)
A. atrox (Leidy 1873)
A. falipoui (Cavin & Brito 2001)
C. cuneatus (Cope 1878)
M. kelleri (Micklich & Klappert 2001)
O. decoratus (Wenz & Brito 1992)
D. laevis (Wenz & Brito 1992)
Hybrid Forms (currently known, images coming soon)
Atractosteus spatula x Lepisosteus osseus
Atractosteus spatula x Lepisosteus platostomus
Atractosteus spatula x Lepisosteus oculatus
Lepisosteus osseus x Lepisosteus platostomus