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Osteoglossiformes by Eurwentala Osteoglossiformes by Eurwentala
Osteoglossiformes, or "bony-tongued fishes" is an order of ray-finned fishes consisting of more than 200 species living mostly in tropical fresh and brackish waters. They are a part of an early fish radiation, dating back to Late Jurassic of the supercontinent Gondwana. The name refers to the bony or toothed tongues of these fishes.

Pantodon buchholzi, the butterflyfish, is the sole living member of the family Pantodontidae. It's a small (about 13 cm) fish found from standing waters in tropical Africa. The butterflyfish is a specialized predator of aquatic insects and small fish, which it hunts by stalking just under the water's surface. It's large pectoral fins are used both for camouflage and gliding over the water's surface when the fish escapes predators by jumping. I've heard that the species was first found by an entomologist who was trying to catch what he thought were butterflies flying over water, but I couldn't find validation for the story.
The butterflyfish is quite common in the aquarium fish trade.

Campylomormyrus numenius is a part of Mormyridae, or elephantfishes, the most species-rich family of Osteoglossiformes. They are native to Africa. The elephantfishes are weakly electric fish, which means they can sense and generate electric fields for locating, finding prey and communicating. The trunk-like mouthparts of some species, that have earned the family it's name, play a part in this. The electroreceptors are concentrated near the snout, whereas the specialized muscles that create electric fields are in the narrow, rigid tail.
Elephantfishes also have enlarged brains, which is thought to be a consequence of dealing with electric signals. They are, however, known to be exceptionally intelligent among fish, with observed behavior like play and helping of wounded specimens. Their brain to body size ratio is close to that of humans.
Campylomormyrus numenius is a large (up to 65 cm) species found in the Congo basin. Not much is known about it's biology.

Chitala chitala, known commonly as the clown knifefish or clown featherback, is a species in the family Notopteridae. Although they are sometimes known as knifefish, they should not be confused with the true knifefish of the order Gymnotiformes. The two are not closely related, but resemble each other in both appearance and biology.
Notopterids, just like mormyrids, are weakly electric fish. Like other electric fish, they have to swim with their body almost unbending to prevent disturbing their own electric field. They swim by undulating their long anal fin, and are just as agile when swimming backwards. They can gulp air into their swim bladder and use it for both breathing and producing sounds. The eight known species of notopterids are found in Africa and southeast Asia.
Chitala chitala is a species native to India. It, among it's close relatives, is characterized by a row of conspicuous black spots in the sides. It's a large fish, growing to the length of more than 100 cm. Besides being a food fish, it is sometimes seen in the aquarium fish market, although it's way too big for most home aquariums.

Gymnarchus niloticus is, as the butterflyfish, the only member of it's own family Gymnarchidae. It's most commonly known by the weird name of aba aba. This close relative of the elephantfishes has a long, rigid body much like notopterids, but it uses it's dorsal fin as the primary propulsive organ instead of anal fin (which is completely absent). As with the elephantfishes, G. niloticus also has exceptionally large brains.
The aba aba is widely distributed in the large rivers and lakes of Africa. It can reach the length of more than 150 cm, but juveniles are however sold as a pet.
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2015
After I saw clips of Gymnatus biting through the back of their prey, I gained anew respect for them
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:iconladymedusa218:
Ladymedusa218 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm suprised you didn't add any of the arawanas in this! I love your drawing of fish! Oddball fish always have a soft spot in my heart!
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Professional
Thanks! I do have a picture of an arowana somewhere, though not in this one for some reason. It would belong here, sure.
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:iconladymedusa218:
Ladymedusa218 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I was an aquarist for a zoo for quite a while, we got calls all the time from people whom could no longer keep a fish because it grew way to large and distructive. Even when I was younger When I worked at a fish store I always always advised against getting a species that got large unless they had a big enough set up. However sometimes with the issue of "the customer is always right" crap they would end up buying the fish anyways :/. I must say when I worked at the zoo, I was the caretaker of a gigantic black pacu, two silver arawanas, and a pair of motoro stingrays. They were very intelligent. The pacu and arawana would hit a target to get a treat. I kinda had to condition them to do it because when I took over that area one of the arawanas tried to take my face off!!!
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:iconkitwitissues:
KitWitIssues Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have a butterfly fish, It's one of my favorites among the ones I own. I also have a ghost knife fish. When I set up my bigger tank, I'll eventually get a clown knife. They're pretty common here in the US. I notice a lot of pet stores have this deplorable habit of selling fish that are juveniles and neglecting the fact that these fish are going to get enormous. Before I commit to a fish like that. I'm going to be sure to make sure I have a tank big enough for it.
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2011  Professional
Butterflyfish are cool and interesting, especially their predatory habits.

It's a shame that these giant species are still sold to unsuspecting people without telling what they will be like. We had this problem in Finland when I was a teenager: especially juvenile shark catfish (Pangasius) were a problem. But things have changed a lot in the last ten years, and you never see them for sale anymore. One shop I heard of had some big species of snakeheads, and the police actually intervened and forbid selling species that are unsuitable for aquariums. Even moderately big species like oscars and goldfish are much less common now, and they always ask you first if you really have a big enough tank for them before selling.
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:iconkitwitissues:
KitWitIssues Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like feeding my butterfly fish flies I've stunned with the swatter. Most of the time it just eats fish food though. When I was younger, I had two fish called Pacus. They grow to the size of a car tire, But we didn't know that. We gave them to my aunt who had a bigger tank, but they out grew her tank too, and I don't know who she gave them to. In retrospect, I think we should have eaten them. They were plenty big for that, and I hear Pacu tastes really good. Snake heads are completely illegal in the US because they've gotten loose in Florida and are doing harmful things to the native species there. people are encouraged to catch and eat them there. They call those catfish iridescent sharks here and they're still pretty common. I've considered them as a possible candidate for my 120 gallon tank when I get it set up. Oscars too, but I'm not certain if Oscars will get along with Casper.
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011  Professional
Please, do not even consider getting iridescent sharks for your tank. They grow a lot larger than pacus, and are not suited for anything smaller than a swimming pool. They don't only have the potential to grow more than four feet long (yes, four feet) but are almost hysterically active shoaling fish, hurting themselves hitting their heads to the tank walls. I had one when I was a child (I called it Elmeri), and when it reached 20 cm (8 inches), my 70 gallon tank got too small and we decided it was best to kill the fish: there was no hope to sell it to anyone with a swimming pool, so selling it would have been worse.
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:iconkitwitissues:
KitWitIssues Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the warning. I'll take heed. Did you eat it?
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011  Professional
Nice to know that. :)
No, I was too young to avoid the thought that eating one's own pets is monstrous. Today, I might try it, though most of the medicines used for aquarium fish are technically not suitable for fish that are supposed to get eaten.
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:iconkitwitissues:
KitWitIssues Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's true with the medicines. I avoid medicines if at all possible, but sometimes it can't be avoided. I have my own beliefs with eating animals and stuff. Personally, I think eating a pet would be more respectful than just killing it without allowing it to return to the cycle. But that's just me. I suppose in a way, the natural decay process returns it to the cycle too, but it just doesn't seem the same.
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:iconsylxeriaguardian:
SylxeriaGuardian Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
These are all incredible drawings :)
I wonder, where do you get the references when drawing these? I understand some creative license is in order when drawing less documented animals, though.
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2009  Professional
Thank you! :)

I mostly try to find good photographs of the animals for reference, usually from the Internet. I, of course, prefer relatively reliable sources like Fishbase, Encyclopedia of Life, professional nature photographers etc, but they don't often offer much. Aquarium hobbyists and shops offer photos of quite rare fish (for example Monsterfishkeepers), but you can't always be sure it's the right species.

Besides the photographs, I use anatomical drawings and descriptions to avoid misinterpreting any features. Of course there are anatomical flaws, since I have never seen real specimens of most of the fish I draw, and reference pictures are often of quite bad quality.

I really try not to use creative license, however. :)
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:iconsylxeriaguardian:
SylxeriaGuardian Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I have one more question. Can I use your drawing of the Saccopharynx Lambergis eel as a reference for a model I want to make for my senior project? I had found only a few other pictures, but they were either too 'cartoonish' in proportion, or not in a sideview perspective.
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2009  Professional
Of course, you are welcome to use it. :)

For added realism, there are quite many photographs of the Lavenbergi's gulper eel available in the internet.
Google's image search even gives a few side profiles as well, just write "Saccopharynx lavenbergi".
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:iconsylxeriaguardian:
SylxeriaGuardian Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks :) The one thing I am concerned about right now is the jaw 'seems' to be too far from the lower portion of the body in my mesh, but that's just me.

Thanks again :)
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