Pictured: Emily Standen with Bichir fish (Polypterus senegalus)

Community: As most bichirs, they will eat smaller fish that can fit to its mouth.
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bichir , common name for African freshwater fishes as of the family Polypteridae, and particularly for those of the genus Bichirs are among the most primitive of the ray-finned fishes, or Actinopterygii, the dominant group of modern fishes. The long, narrow body of is 2 to 3 ft (60–90 cm) in length and covered by thick, rhombic scales made of an enamellike substance called ganoine. Such scales were also present in the earliest ray-finned fishes, now extinct, and are quite different from those of other living fishes. The dorsal fin of the bichir is split into a row of small, saillike finlets that are erected when the animal is agitated. Like the sharks and the rays, it has a pair of spiracles. The bichir seems especially adapted to life in dry environments. Instead of the of most ray-finned fishes, it has a pair of lungs, somewhat like those of the , which enables it to survive out of water for several hours. It also resembles the lungfishes in having a pair of external gills when newly hatched. The bichir is a bottom-dwelling fish, found in the Nile and in the rivers of W Africa. When these rivers overflow in late summer, it moves out to spawn in the flood marshes. It is sometimes caught as a food fish. In addition to the various species of the bichir family includes the reedfish, similar in character and distribution, but with a longer, more eellike form. Bichirs are classified in the phylum , subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Polypteriformes, family Polypteridae.
Lewis, Peter A. 1996. The Bichirs; Ancient fish withmany fins. AFM 5/96.
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Dr Larsson and his colleagues raised juvenile Senegal bichir on land for nearly a year, with an aim to revealing how ancient fish may have used their fins in a terrestrial environment. Types of Bichir Fish | aquarium fish Armoured Bichir Polypterus Delhezi пятнистый
Photo provided by FlickrThe Ornate Bichir is one of the most popular Bichirs in the fish keeping hobby!
Photo provided by FlickrBichir fish (Polypterus senegalus) living on land. Photo: Antoine Morin
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The Weeksii Bichir does best in a large "oddball" aquarium with other large, passive fish. When provided with plenty of open swimming areas, rocks and crevices, the Weeksii Bichir is not usually aggressive toward tank mates. This species is semi-aggressive in the fact that they will swallow any fish or invertebrate that they can fit into their mouth, but they are very passive towards other large fish. Prone to jumping, a tight, well-sealed aquarium lid is required.I purchased an Ornate Bichir and a Cuvier Bichir two and a half years ago. These fish are among the easiest species to care for. I keep them in a 50-gallon tank. The tank is pretty barren - it consists of gravel, stones, and driftwood. I keep the water neutral, a pH of 7.0. I keep the water at eighty degrees Fahrenheit, and the lighting at medium. Bichirs aren't picky eaters - I feed mine earthworms, crickets, mealworms, goldfish, guppies, and beef heart. I recommend these fish for aquarists of all ages.The Cuvier Bichir does best in a large "oddball" aquarium with other large, passive fish. When provided with plenty of open swimming areas, rocks and crevices, the Cuvier Bichir is not usually aggressive toward tank mates. This species is semi-aggressive in the fact that they will swallow any fish or invertebrate that they can fit into their mouth. Be careful in choosing passive tank mates for the Bichir, as they are very passive towards other large fish. Prone to jumping, a tight, well-sealed aquarium lid is required., the Congo bichir, is a species of with a maximum recorded size of 970 millimetres (38 in). The colour also varies from yellowish brown to grey, darker in the top, paler in the ventral area. It has a pattern of around 8 irregular vertical bands along the flanks of the fish, that do not extend completely onto the ventral surface. The lower jaw is prominent, much like . The male has a wider and thicker anal fin.