Physical characteristics

These eel-like fishes range in size from 8 to 48 in (20-150 cm). Although they are eel-like, they are not related to true eels (Anguilliformes). The premaxillae are present as distinct bones. The gills are poorly developed, and their openings are usually single, small, and confluent across the breast. Oxygen is absorbed through the membranes of the throat or intestine. The dorsal and anal fins are low and continuous around the tail tip. Pelvic fins, if present, are small and located on the throat. Scales are either absent or very small. They lack a swim bladder.

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