Living Fossils pp 160-165

Part of the Casebooks in Earth Sciences book series (CASEBOOKS)

Family Lepisosteida (Gars) as Living Fossils

  • E. O. Wiley
  • Hans-Peter Schultze

Abstract

Gars (Fig. 1). are primitive neopterygian fishes with elongate snout, plicidentine teeth, opisthocoelous vertebrae, heavy dermal bone retaining ganoid ornamentation, ganoid scales, a semiheterocercal tail, and fulcral scales on the median fins. The elongate snout is an ontogenetic product of ethmoid elongation and is correlated with many of the synapomorphies characterizing the family (Wiley 1976). Plicidentine teeth and opistocoelous vertebrae are also synapomorphies (Patterson 1973). The remaining characters are retained plesiomorphies.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. O. Wiley
    • 1
  • Hans-Peter Schultze
    • 1
  1. 1.Museum of Natural History and Department of Systematics and EcologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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