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Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous[source?]– Recent
Eel-tail catfish
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Superorder: Ostariophysi
Order: Siluriformes

Catfish are an order of teleost fish, the Siluriformes. There are about 40 families in the order.

They are called catfish because their barbels look like the whiskers of a cat. They are very diverse. They range in size from the heaviest, the Mekong Giant Catfish to the longest, the Wels catfish found in Eurasia. There are also detrivores in the group, and even tiny parasitic fish can be found. These parasites are called candiru. Some catfish are also grown for food, in fish farms. Some catfish can be kept in aquaria.