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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Polypterus \Po*lyp`te*rus\, n. [NL., fr. Gr. poly`s many + ? feather, wing.] (Zo["o]l.) An African genus of ganoid fishes including the bichir.


Polypterus is a genus of freshwater fish in the bichir family ( Polypteridae) of order Polypteriformes. The type species is the Nile bichir (P. bichir). Fishes in this genus live in various areas in Africa. The etymology of the genus name derives from a combination of the Greek prefix πολυ-, poly- (many) and the root word πτερον, pteron (wing or fin) – "many fins". Polypterus is the only known vertebrate to have lungs, but no trachea.