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Today's most successful fish weren't always evolutionary standouts

Take a glance around the oceans, rivers and lakes of today and you'll confront an astonishing diversity of fish, from narrow-bodied eels to the 25-foot-long giant oarfish to delicate, fluttering seahorses. The vast majority of fish alive today—approximately 96 percent—are known as teleosts, a group of ray-finned fish that emerged 260 million years ago.
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