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Atractosteus africanus (SciiFii)
The African gar (Atractosteus africanus) is a species of gar that originally lived from the Cretaceous period of Niger as well as France until the end of the Cretaceous, during the Maastrichtian, and was once extinct but has since been brought back from extinction by SciiFii and introduced to the modern lakes and rivers of Africa to help boost biodiversity. African gars, like other gars, are often referred to as "primitive fishes" or "living fossils" because they have retained some morphological characteristics of their earliest ancestors, such as a spiral valve intestine, which is also common to the digestive system of sharks, and the ability to breathe both air and water. Like the American alligator, the African gars have broad snouts and long, sharp teeth. The African gar can grow to be around the size of an alligator gar and, like them, can sometimes grow up to 10 ft (3.0 m) in length. The body of an African gar is torpedo-shaped, usually brown or olive, fading to a lighter gray or yellow ventral surface. Their scales are not like the scales of other fishes; rather, they are ganoid scales, which are bone-like, rhomboidal-shaped scales, often with serrated edges, and covered by an enamel-like substance. Ganoid scales are nearly impenetrable and are excellent protection against predation. Unlike most other gar species and like the alligator gar, the upper jaw of an African gar has a dual row of large, sharp teeth that are used to impale and hold prey. African gars are stalking, ambush predators, primarily piscivores, but they also ambush and eat water fowl and small mammals they find floating on the water's surface. The conservation status of the African gar is Least Concern due to successful conservation efforts and the African gar's wide range.
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