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Osmeridae (smelt; superorder Protacanthopterygii, order Salmoniformes) A small family of fish, with both freshwater and marine representatives, that, like the salmon, have a single, soft-rayed, dorsal fin as well as an adipose fin on the back, a forked tail, and the pelvic fins located in a mid-ventral position. Most species are fairly small and inhabit the cooler waters of the northern hemisphere. Many marine species are anadromous. There are at least 10 species.