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The bichirs and reedfish (also called ropefish) comprise the Polypteridae, a family of archaic-looking ray-finned fishes and the sole family in the order Polypteriformes

All species occur in freshwater habitats in tropical Africa and the Nile River system, mainly swampy, shallow floodplains and estuaries

Bichirs are considered the sister group to all other extant ray-finned fishes

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