[page 170]


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Both jaws (of the adult) are elongated to form a slender beak in the needlefishes, as in the billfishes (p. 167), and the anal, dorsal, and ventral fins are set far back. But the presence of several finlets between the dorsal and anal fins and the caudal in the needlefishes (which the billfishes lack) is a ready field mark for their identification. Furthermore, their teeth are small and weak, and their bodies only moderately slender. Four or five species are known in warm seas, one of which is not uncommon in the Gulf of Maine.