african brown knife

This fish reaches 30 centimetres (12 in) SL in length. The body of these fish is unusual, with the body dorsolaterally flattened and elongate, giving the appearance of a knife blade. The caudal and ventral fins are fused and run from beneath the gills to the pointed end of the body, creating a uniform, skirtlike fin. This appendage gives the animal superior control in the water, as it is able to propel itself forward and backward with a minimum of wasted energy. The pelvic fins are extremely reduced and are not used in locomotion. The dorsal fin is absent. The pelvic fins of the African brown knife fish are lengthy and designed to give the animal precise control as it swims. They are often employed in a windmilling motion, in conjunction with the caudal/ventral fin, as the fish retreats into its lair.

Xenomystus nigri, the African Brown Knife Fish or African Knife Fish, is the only species in the genus Xenomystus of the family Notopteridae. This fish inhabits coastal river basins in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, Benin and Cameroon. It also in Chad, the Nile, the Congo, and the Niger basins


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "African Brown Knife".