, Volume 44, Issue 2-3, pp 137-141

Functional morphology of the caudal skeleton in teleostean fishes

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The basic function of the caudal skeleton in teleostean fishes is to support the caudal fin, but its parts contribute to this function in somewhat different ways. The main axis for this support is the upturned terminal end of the vertebral column, which ends at the base of the uppermost principal rays. The uroneural struts just ahead of this axis provide support for it. The parts of the caudal skeleton behind and below this upturned axis, the hypurals and parhypural, not only support the caudal rays but also provide a means for differential movements between the upper and lower parts of the fin base. This basic caudal skeleton varies with the position of the fish in the sequence of teleosten evolution, the way in which the fish uses its caudal fin, and to some extent with the shape of the fin.