Frontiers of Biology in China

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 151–169 | Cite as

Phylogenetic relationships of galeaspids (Agnatha)

  • Zhu Min Email author
  • Gai Zhikun 


We present the first parsimony analysis of the agnathan subclass Galeaspida based on the analysis of 53 morphological characters. Three most parsimonious cladograms (126 steps in length; CI = 0.508; RI = 0.801) were discovered. An amended classification of the Galeaspida is proposed corresponding to the present analysis. Our results suggest that hanyangaspids, xiushuiaspids and day on-gaspids from the Llandovery-Wenlock of Silurian are basal galeaspids. Within the remaining galeaspids, three major monophyletic groups (the Eugaleaspidiformes, the Polybranchiaspidiformes and the Huananaspidiformes) are well supported. It is shown that the dorsal fenestrae of the headshield evolved twice within the Galeaspida, one in the polybranchiaspidiform lineage, and the other in the huananaspidiform lineage (nested within the Huananaspidae). The chronological distribution of galeaspids highlights two radiations of the group, one for basal galeaspids and eugaleaspids in the Telychian (Llandovery) of Silurian, and the other for polybranchiaspidiforms and huananaspidiforms in the Lochkovian of Early Devonian.


Galeaspida Agnatha phylogeny classification 


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© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and PaleoanthropologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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