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jawless fish

1965-70; jaw1 + -less Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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jawless fish
Any of various primitive fish of the class Agnatha that lack jaws. Living jawless fish (lampreys and hagfish) have a long, cylindrical body and a cartilaginous skeleton. The numerous extinct species were often heavily armored and are among the earliest vertebrate fossils known. Jawless fish occupy an intermediate evolutionary position between primitive chordates and jawed fish. Also called agnathan. See more at cyclostome. Compare bony fish, cartilaginous fish.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for jawless fish


any of the class Agnatha of primitive, jawless fishes that includes the lampreys and hagfishes (order Cyclostomata), as well as extinct groups

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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