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pencil fish

any of several slender South American fishes belonging to three groups of characins, treated by some authorities as three separate families and by others as a single family, Characidae. Pencil fish pick animal food from the bottom or from plant surfaces. Most species inhabit slow-moving water and all live in fresh water. Some habitually swim at an angle, tail down, others horizontally, and still others tail up

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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