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any of several species of fishes in the family Trichiuridae (order Perciformes). All species are marine; representatives occur in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Cutlass fishes have a distinctive appearance with a long, eellike body and a short dorsal fin that extends the length of the back. The tail is greatly reduced in size, characteristically tapering to a point. They are carnivorous, feeding primarily on other fishes, and have enlarged mouths and sharp, pointed teeth. One species (Trichiurus lepturus) attains a maximum length of 1.5 m (5 feet). The family consists of about 6 genera and 20 species