any fish of the family Ictaluridae, which includes about 35 species of North and Central American freshwater catfishes. Ictalurids are "typical" catfishes, with large, wide heads, tapering, scaleless bodies, and eight prominent mouth barbels. The family includes the channel and other North American catfishes (see catfish), as well as the madtom and bullhead (qq.v.) groups

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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