Bony fishes

The modern bony fishes (teleosts) are ray-finned fishes of the Class Actinopterygii.

They have an internal skeleton composed, at least in part, of bone. In Australian species, the scales are rough-edged (ctenoid), smooth-edged (cycloid), or absent. Most have two paired fins (pectorals on the side, and pelvics below), one or more dorsal fins (along the back), an anal fin on the ventral surface, and a tail or caudal fin. When present, the fins are supported by segmented soft rays (branched or unbranched), or unsegmented spines (unbranched and either stiff or soft). There is usually one pair of gill openings, but a few species have only a single gill slit, opening ventrally.

Teleosts are by far the most diverse and species rich vertebrate group. They comprise about 96 percent of all living fishes worldwide. They vary in size from tiny semitransparent gobies that mature at less than 10mm in length, to massive ocean sunfish that reach several tonnes in weight. About 4,500 species are found in Australia of which about 2,800 are found in Queensland waters.

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