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Re: Bichirs:(was)Cladistics(etc, sidetrack)
> I brought the book, SELECTION*CARE*BEHAVIOR*JURASSIC FISHES (Haruto
>Kodera, et all, T.F.H. Publications, 1994 (also published in Japan under the
>name ANCIENT FISH) into work with me. They refer to the fish commonly
>called ROPEFISH in American aquarium fish stores (and known for it's
>escaping ability) as the Rope Fish (Erpetoichthys calabaricus. It also
>refers to the common name REED FISH. They claim it was originally described
>by Max Poll of the Belgian Royal Museum in 1954 as Polypterus enlicheri
>congicus, but they go on to say that the name was actually a junior homonym
>of something described by Boulenger of the British Museum in 1898.
> By this description, I would think it was fairly closely related to
I am almost certain that this is Calamoichthys calabaricus, the Reedfish.
Calamoichthys is the only other genus in the Polypteridae besides Polypterus
and is very elongate by comparison. The name Erpetoichthys must be a synonym.
>>Within the Actinops the bichirs are considered to be the only living
>>representatives of the earliest line in the group, the palaeoniscoid
>>fishes. In a modern classification (from Long, The Rise of Fishes) they
>>form the Order Polypteriformes in the Infraclass Chondrostei; other living
>>chondrosteans are the sturgeons and paddlefishes.
>Where do they fit in with Gars? Are Gars more primitive or more advanced
In Long's classification the Subclass Actinopterygii is divided into two
Infraclasses, the Chondrostei (whose only living representatives are the
bichirs, sturgeons and paddlefishes) and the Neopterygii. The Neopterygii
are further divided into a number of "primitive" orders including two living
ones, the Lepisosteiformes (gars) and Amiiformes (bowfin); all other orders
are grouped together in a Division Teleostei within the Neopterygii. In
older non-cladistic classifications the primitive Neopterygian orders were
grouped together as Holostei, so that Actinopterygian fishes were grouped as
Chondrostei (most primitive), Holostei and Teleostei (most advanced).
>>I recommend Long's book as a very good intro for a non-fish person like me,
>>though it's a bit heavy on the technical details.
>Great!. I usually pick up my fish books at aquarium shops, but I haven't seen
>this title there.
Not surprisingly as it is not aimed at aquarists but is purely a discussion
of fossil fishes. The full cite is: Long, John A. 1995. The Rise of
Fishes: 500 million years of evolution. Johns Hopkins University Press.
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