An elongated African freshwater fish with an armour of hard shiny scales and a series of separate fins along its back.
- Genus Polypterus, family Polypteridae: several species, including P. senegalus.
- Within the Chondrostei, only sturgeons, bichirs and paddlefishes survive today, and many are threatened.
- All palaeoniscoids were extinct by the end of the Mesozoic, leaving only a few distant, primitive relatives alive today - the sturgeons, paddlefish, and bichirs.
- Today lungs are found not only in land vertebrates but also in a few obscure fish lineages, such as gar, bichir, and lungfish.
1960s: via French from dialect Arabic abu shīr.
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Line breaks: bi¦chir
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