Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Polypteriformes

Family: Polypteridae

Genus: Polypterus

Species: P. senegalus

Specimen Description

Polypterus senegalus has diphycercal tail which is the tail having two lobes the upper and lower and the two lobes are identical and alike, so and the vertebral column extending to the tip without any upturning.  Their tail is broad and powerfull. d, it have a snake like body the movement of the tail gives the fish a distinctive way of swimming. The tail is used when burst of speed is needed. Dorsal fin are extending towards the caudal fin. The anal fin is present at the tip of the tail.

About the Animal

The name Polypterus is derived from the word Polypteron means many wings and probably refers to the many separate dorsal fins of the fish in this family. The body is long and about as deep as it is wide. A serrated dorsal fin runs along most of the body until it meets the caudal fin. The pectoral fins attach just behind and below the gill openings, and are the primary means of locomotion, providing a slow, graceful appearance. P. senegalus is smaller than other bichirs, reaching about 35.5 cm (14 in). The head is small and lizard-like, with a gaping mouth and small eyes on either side. The Polypterus is found in East and West tropical Africa in lakes and slow moving rivers. They are very tolerant of a wide range of conditions because they are able to breathe atmospheric oxygen. This enables them to leave the water if it becomes to polluted and use their strong pectoral fins to move across land to a new and more suitable body of water.