Their bodies have a teardrop shape, with a wide head that tapers back towards the tail. Some have short fins, others have quite lengthy dorsal and anal fins on their upper and lower sides. They are found globally in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, as well as numerous seas including the Norwegian, Mediterranean, and Sea of Japan. Nearly all species can be found in the high seas. However, fishes in the genera Pterycombus and Pteraclis tend to be found off continental shelves. Further, fishes in the genus Eumegistus are hypothesized to be largely benthic and found to occupy deep water shelves.