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Amiiformes - Bowfins


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Superclass: Osteichthyes
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Amiiformes

BowfinThere is one family, Amiidae, in this order and only one species is alive today.

Bowfins are found in slow moving waters in North America east of the Mississippi River. This is a primitive freshwater fish that hasn't changed much in millions of years!

The bowfin has a long, cylindrical body with a very long dorsal fin that runs from the middle of its back down to the base of its tail. It may also have a round black spot on its tail. It has a rounded, single lobed caudal fin and small, rounded pectoral fins.

The bowfin sometimes sticks its head out of the water to gulp in air if the oxygen level in the water is too low. Bowfin eat fish and invertebrates.

World Status Key
Least ConcernLeast Concern Near ThreatenedNear Threatened VulnerableVulnerable EndangeredEndangered Critically EndangeredCritically Endangered extinct in the wildExtinct in Wild extinctExtinct Not Enough DataNot Enough Data
Status and range is taken from ICUN Redlist.

U.S. Status Key
Threatened in US Threatened in US Endangered in US Endangered in US Introduced Introduced
Status taken from US Fish and Wildlife. Click on U.S. status icon to go to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife species profile.

New Hampshire Status Key
Threatened in New Hampshire Threatened in NH Endangered in NH Endangered in NH Breeds in NH Breeds in NH (birds)
Status taken from NH Fish and Game

Location Key
Africa Africa Asia Asia Australia Australia/Oceania Europe Europe North America North America South America South America New Hampshire Species NH

More Info
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Resource Key
profile Profile Photos Photos Video Video Audio Audio

New Hampshire Species


North/Central American Species

Bowfin - Amia calva Least Concern North America More Info

Other Species Around the World


Additional Information

Bowfin - Amia calva profile Photos Least Concern North America
Bowfin live in backwater pools of rivers, lakes, and swamps.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School

Bowfin - Amia calva profile Photos Least Concern North America
The bowfin's dorsal fin runs the entire length of its body.
Source: Florida Museum of Natural History Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School