Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- A family of fresh-water fishes, typified by the genus Cyprinus (the carp), of varying limits with different authors. In Cuvier's system, the first family of Malacopterygii abdominales, having a slightly cleft mouth with weak and generally toothless jaws, the border of the mouth being formed by the intermaxillaries, and the trifling armature of the jaws consisting of the deeply indented pharyngeals; a small number of branchial rays; the body scaly; and no adipose dorsal fin. In Günther's system, a family of physostomous fishes, with body generally covered with scales; head naked; margin of upper jaw formed by the intermaxillaries; mouth toothless; lower pharyngeal bones well developed, falciform and parallel with the branchial arches, and provided with teeth in two or three series; air-bladder large, divided into an anterior and a posterior portion by a constriction, or into a right and a left portion inclosed in an osseous capsule (absent in Homaloptera); and ovarian sacs closed. In Gill's system, a family of eventognathous fishes, with the margin of the upper jaw formed by the intermaxillaries alone, the pharyngeal teeth few, and three basal branchihyals. Even with its narrowest limits, it is the largest family of fishes, containing nearly 1,000 species, which by some are referred to more than 200 genera, but by others to much fewer. Very numerous representatives occur in the fresh waters of North America, Europe, and Asia, and fewer in those of Africa. where they have apparently found their way in later Tertiary times. They are absent from the streams of South America, Australia, and all the islands of the Pacific ocean except those of the East Indian archipelago. About 250 species have been found in the United States, most of which are very small. In Europe and Asia species contribute largely to the food-supply of the people, but in America very few are of any economical importance. The most valuable is the true carp, Cyprinus carpio, which has been introduced and is now largely cultivated in the United States. Another species widely dispersed is the ornamental goldfish, Carassius (or Cyprinus) auratus. Dace, roach, chub, shiner, and minnow are names applied to various species. See cuts under
- In conchology, a family of siphonate bivalve mollusks, taking name from the genus Cyprina. The technical characters are: a regular, equivalve, oval shell, with thick, strong epidermis; 1–3 principal cardinal teeth; a simple pallial line; and the edges of the mantle fused to form two siphonal openings. Also called
Isocardiidæ. See cut under Cyprina.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. a natural family of fishes including the carp; tench; roach; rudd; and dace.
- n. a family of fish including: carp; tench; roach; rudd; dace.
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