Ray-finned fish (Perciformes)

Perciformes, also called the Percomorpha or Acanthopteri, is an order or superorder of ray-finned fish. If considered a single order, they are the most numerous order of vertebrates, containing about 41% of all bony fish. Perciformes means "perch-like". This group comprises over 10,000 species found in almost all aquatic ecosystems. The order contains about 160 families, which is the most of any order within the vertebrates. It is also the most variably sized order of vertebrates, ranging from the 7 mm (1⁄4 in) Schindleria brevipinguis to the 5 m (15 ft) marlin in the genus Makaira. They first appeared and diversified in the Late Cretaceous. Among the well-known members of this group are perch and darters (Percidae), sea bass and groupers (Serranidae).
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