The Actinopterygii is the class of ray-finned fishes.
Temporal range: Upper Silurian – Recent
The ray-finned fishes get their name from the fact that they have lepidotrichia or "fin rays". Their fins are webs of skin held by bony or horny spines ("rays"). This is different from the fleshy fins of the fish in the Sarcopterygii.
Actinopterygians are the largest class of vertebrates. There are nearly 25,000 species. They can be found in both fresh water and marine environments from the deep sea to the highest mountain streams. Most of the living species are teleosts.
- Chondrostei (bichirs and sturgeons)
- Holostei (gars and bowfins)
- Elopomorpha (eels)
- Clupeomorpha (herrings, anchovies)
- Ostariophysi (goldfish, minnows, catfish, electric eels)
- Protacanthopterygii (salmon, trout, pike)
- Paracanthopterygii (cod, anglerfish)
- Acanthopterygii (mullets, flyingfishes, sticklebacks, seahorses, flatfish, cichlids, mackerel, tuna, perch)