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DistributionDistribution: circumglobal. Some with small supramaxilla. With subocular shelf. Anal fin origin below or slightly behind dorsal fin base. Head and body with groups and rows of small photophores; one species without. Scales cycloid; ctenoid in 4 species. Swim bladder usually present. Vertebrae 28-45. Heavily preyed upon by many marine fishes and mammals. Diurnal migration exhibited by many: most species with peak abundance between 300 and 1200 m by day and between 10 and 100 m at night.