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any member of the subclass, or infraclass, Holostei, a group of archaic, bony fishes represented by the bowfin and the gar of North America. They are one of the three major groups of ray-finned fish (Actinopterygii), the other two being the chondrosteans and the teleosts. Most paleontologists divide the Holostei into the Holosteans proper, which include living and extinct forms, and the Halecostomi, an extinct group

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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