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atheriniform

any member of the order Atheriniformes, containing 15 families of marine and freshwater spiny-finned fishes, including the flying fishes (see ), needlefishes, silversides, and cyprinodonts. The last group, the Cyprinodontidae, is an abundant tropical and subtropical family that includes the guppies, mollies, swordtails, and many other aquarium fishes. In addition to the Atheriniformes, this article treats the three smaller related orders Beryciformes, Zeiformes, and Lampridiformes, the most primitive groups of the superorder Acanthopterygii, or spiny-finned fishes

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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