noun (plural same or paddlefishes)
A large, mainly freshwater fish related to the sturgeon, with an elongated snout.
- The plankton-feeding Polyodon spathula of the Mississippi basin, and the fish-eating Psephurus gladius of the Yangtze River, the only surviving members of the family Polyodontidae.
- American paddlefish are mainly freshwater fish but can survive in brackish water.
- Since sturgeons and paddlefish have lost many traits of most bony fish - they lack scales and have a cartilaginous skeleton - their fossil records are very sparse.
- Within the Chondrostei, only sturgeons, bichirs and paddlefishes survive today, and many are threatened.
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