This lifeform is found east of the Continental Divide in North America.
Longnose Gar, Lepisosteus osseus, is found in almost every state in the United States east of the Continental Divide. It is the only gar fish in the United States that has a bill (measured from the eye) that is at least ten times longer than it is wide at its narrowest point. They can become quite large as specimens over fifty inches and over twenty pounds are known. Most adults in the northern part of their range are usually around forty inches in length. This species is not very popular with fisherman since gars seem to be neither good eating (their eggs are also toxic) nor good fighters. Generally, they are usually considered a junk fish. Their diet consists mostly of fish and it is believed gars eat good game fish. They can be caught on hook and line, but their bony jaw makes hooking them an almost impossible task. Snaring is sometimes practiced.
Garpikes are a primitive family of fish that are found from Canada to Central America and in Cuba. They are characterized by having a long bill or beak. There are 7 known species of which 5 are found in North America. The Lepisosteus genus and the Atractosteus genus (Alligator gar and relatives) belong here. The Atractosteus genus has three species with one species in North America, one in Central America, and one in Cuba and adjacent islands.
Garfish and the Bowfin are a primitive group of fish that are only found in the New World. There are probably only nine
species in this entire group. This group has been placed close to the true bony fish.
Bony fish, Class Teleostomi, are a class of chordates that include the majority of fish-like animals found on earth. They are characterized by a bony jaw and a bony skeleton. They are found in both fresh and marine waters.
Backboned Animals (Phylum Chordata) are the most advanced group of animals on earth. These animals are characterized by having a spinal cord or backbone. Most members have a clearly defined brain that controls the organism through a spinal cord. Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals are in this phylum.
Currently, some taxonomists believe that the fish should be divided into two groups (sharks and regular fishes) and that there are some other primitive groups in the phylum such as hagfish or lampreys.
Animal Kingdom contains numerous organisms that feed on other animals or plants. Included in the animal kingdom are the lower marine invertebrates such as sponges and corals, the jointed legged animals such as insects and spiders, and the backboned animals such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.