; superorder Paracanthopterygii, order Gadiformes)
A family of marine fish found in cold to temperate waters. All members of the family have spineless fins. Some species have three dorsal and two anal fins. Typically, the pelvic fins are located far forward, ahead of the pectorals, and include more than five soft fin rays. Usually there is a single barbel on the chin. Several species are of considerable commercial importance (e.g. the European Gadus morrhua (cod), which was already an important staple product to the Scandinavian Vikings). The omnivorous cod is a prolific species: large (10 kg) females may release some four million eggs. Other important species include Melanogrammus aeglefinus (haddock), Molva molva (ling), and Lota lota (burbot), a freshwater representative. There are about 55 species, occurring in the northern Atlantic and Pacific.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.