Actinopterygii (/ˌæktɪnɒptəˈrɪdʒiaɪ/; from actino- 'having rays', and Ancient Greek πτέρυξ (ptérux) 'wing, fins'), members of which are known as ray-finned fishes, is a class of bony fish. They comprise over 50% of living vertebrate species.
The ray-finned fishes are so called because their fins are webs of skin supported by bony or horny spines (rays), as opposed to the fleshy, lobed fins that characterize the class Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish). These actinopterygian fin rays attach directly to the proximal or basal skeletal elements, the radials, which represent the link or connection between these fins and the internal skeleton (e.g., pelvic and pectoral girdles).
By species count, actinopterygians dominate the vertebrates, and they constitute nearly 99% of the over 30,000 species of fish. They are ubiquitous throughout freshwater and marine environments from the deep sea to the highest mountain streams. Extant species can range in size from Paedocypris, at 8 mm (0.3 in), to the massive ocean sunfish, at 2,300 kg (5,070 lb), and the long-bodied oarfish, at 11 m (36 ft). The vast majority of Actinopterygii (~99%) are teleosts.
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