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mormyrid

[mawr-mahy-rid] /mɔrˈmaɪ rɪd/
noun
1.
any of numerous African freshwater fishes of the family Mormyridae, many species of which have an elongated snout and are capable of producing an electric discharge.
adjective
2.
belonging or pertaining to the family Mormyridae.
Origin
1895-1900
1895-1900; < New Latin Mormyridae, equivalent to Mormyr(us) genus name (< Greek mormýros a species of fish) + -idae -id2
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for mormyrid
  • An example in lower vertebrates of corollary discharge is seen in mormyrid electric fish.
Encyclopedia Article for mormyrid

mormyr

any of several species of slimy freshwater African fishes that comprise the family Mormyridae (order Mormyriformes). They are usually found in sluggish, muddy water. Mormyrids are soft-rayed bony fishes with abdominal pelvic fins, forked tail fins, small mouths and eyes, restricted gill openings, and small scales. They range from 9 to 50 cm (3.5 to about 20 inches) in length. Their brains are proportionately very large, comparable to that of humans in relation to body weight; enlarged areas of the brain indicate well-developed senses. A loosely attached bony plate on each side of the head covers a vesicle that communicates with the internal ear. Paired electric organs of mild power, present in the tail, set up a continuous electric field around the fish, acting as a sensory screen. Most mormyrids feed on small prey, aquatic vegetation, or organic debris.

Learn more about mormyr with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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