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Ophichthidae (snake eel; subclass Actinopterygii, order Anguilliformes) A large family of eel-like, marine fish, in most of which the dorsal fin extends almost the full length of the body, originating behind the head and extending either to a spike-like tail or to a tiny tail fin. The tail is thought to be used for quick burrowing activity into the sea-bottom. Many species reach a length of 60 cm; others may grow to 1.7 m. There are about 270 species, distributed world-wide.

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