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Sample records for raleighiana chondrichthyes holocephali

  1. Development of the Synarcual in the Elephant Sharks (Holocephali; Chondrichthyes): Implications for Vertebral Formation and Fusion.

    PubMed

    Johanson, Zerina; Boisvert, Catherine; Maksimenko, Anton; Currie, Peter; Trinajstic, Kate

    2015-01-01

    The synarcual is a structure incorporating multiple elements of two or more anterior vertebrae of the axial skeleton, forming immediately posterior to the cranium. It has been convergently acquired in the fossil group 'Placodermi', in Chondrichthyes (Holocephali, Batoidea), within the teleost group Syngnathiformes, and to varying degrees in a range of mammalian taxa. In addition, cervical vertebral fusion presents as an abnormal pathology in a variety of human disorders. Vertebrae develop from axially arranged somites, so that fusion could result from a failure of somite segmentation early in development, or from later heterotopic development of intervertebral bone or cartilage. Examination of early developmental stages indicates that in the Batoidea and the 'Placodermi', individual vertebrae developed normally and only later become incorporated into the synarcual, implying regular somite segmentation and vertebral development. Here we show that in the holocephalan Callorhinchus milii, uniform and regular vertebral segmentation also occurs, with anterior individual vertebra developing separately with subsequent fusion into a synarcual. Vertebral elements forming directly behind the synarcual continue to be incorporated into the synarcual through growth. This appears to be a common pattern through the Vertebrata. Research into human disorders, presenting as cervical fusion at birth, focuses on gene misexpression studies in humans and other mammals such as the mouse. However, in chondrichthyans, vertebral fusion represents the normal morphology, moreover, taxa such Leucoraja (Batoidea) and Callorhinchus (Holocephali) are increasingly used as laboratory animals, and the Callorhinchus genome has been sequenced and is available for study. Our observations on synarcual development in three major groups of early jawed vertebrates indicate that fusion involves heterotopic cartilage and perichondral bone/mineralised cartilage developing outside the regular skeleton. We

  2. Development of the Synarcual in the Elephant Sharks (Holocephali; Chondrichthyes): Implications for Vertebral Formation and Fusion

    PubMed Central

    Johanson, Zerina; Boisvert, Catherine; Maksimenko, Anton; Currie, Peter; Trinajstic, Kate

    2015-01-01

    The synarcual is a structure incorporating multiple elements of two or more anterior vertebrae of the axial skeleton, forming immediately posterior to the cranium. It has been convergently acquired in the fossil group ‘Placodermi’, in Chondrichthyes (Holocephali, Batoidea), within the teleost group Syngnathiformes, and to varying degrees in a range of mammalian taxa. In addition, cervical vertebral fusion presents as an abnormal pathology in a variety of human disorders. Vertebrae develop from axially arranged somites, so that fusion could result from a failure of somite segmentation early in development, or from later heterotopic development of intervertebral bone or cartilage. Examination of early developmental stages indicates that in the Batoidea and the ‘Placodermi’, individual vertebrae developed normally and only later become incorporated into the synarcual, implying regular somite segmentation and vertebral development. Here we show that in the holocephalan Callorhinchus milii, uniform and regular vertebral segmentation also occurs, with anterior individual vertebra developing separately with subsequent fusion into a synarcual. Vertebral elements forming directly behind the synarcual continue to be incorporated into the synarcual through growth. This appears to be a common pattern through the Vertebrata. Research into human disorders, presenting as cervical fusion at birth, focuses on gene misexpression studies in humans and other mammals such as the mouse. However, in chondrichthyans, vertebral fusion represents the normal morphology, moreover, taxa such Leucoraja (Batoidea) and Callorhinchus (Holocephali) are increasingly used as laboratory animals, and the Callorhinchus genome has been sequenced and is available for study. Our observations on synarcual development in three major groups of early jawed vertebrates indicate that fusion involves heterotopic cartilage and perichondral bone/mineralised cartilage developing outside the regular skeleton

  3. First Description of a Palatal Organ in Chimaera monstrosa (Chondrichthyes, Holocephali).

    PubMed

    Ferrando, Sara; Gallus, Lorenzo; Gambardella, Chiara; Croce, Daniel; Damiano, Giulia; Mazzarino, Chiara; Vacchi, Marino

    2016-01-01

    Chimaeroid fishes are the only extant Holocephali, a subclass of Chondrichthyes. We describe for the first time a well evidenced structure localized in the palate of the chimaeroid Chimaera monstrosa, here named a palatal organ (PO). Attention has been paid to the holocephalan head morphology, but there has been no mention of this particular organ in the literature. The PO is a soft-tissue mass located within a slight hollow in between the two vomerine toothplates, and it protrudes into the oral cavity, resembling the mammalian incisive papilla. It is characterized by dense connective tissue with abundant collagen and elastic fibers and no muscular tissue. The robust innervation but low density of taste buds suggest a role in gustation for the PO, but primary utility in general mechanical sensitivity likely implicated in food sorting. The presence of numerous multicellular serous glands in the anterior/dorsal part of the PO is quite surprising because, in gnathostome fish, the presence of multicellular glands within the mouth has been reported in only the rare case of teeth-associated venom glands. Hypothesized roles for these glands could include food lubrication, digestion and defense against pathogens. In the literature, the presence of a PO has been demonstrated in many published images of chimaeroid fishes, but has gone unnoticed. This trait could represent a peculiar characteristic of all or a subset of holocephalans.

  4. Chimaera opalescens n. sp., a new chimaeroid (Chondrichthyes: Holocephali) from the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Luchetti, E A; Iglésias, S P; Sellos, D Y

    2011-08-01

    A new species of chimaeroid, Chimaera opalescens n. sp., was described from 31 type specimens caught in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean at 950-1400 m depth. This species differed from all its congeners by the combination of the following characters: body uniformly pale brown to bronze, iridescent on fresh specimens; unpaired fins brown to purple, uniformly coloured or with pale or whitish edges; iris black; claspers tripartite and divided for a third of their length, not extending beyond the pelvic fins in adults; dorsal spine equal to or shorter than first dorsal fin; ventral caudal lobe equal to or deeper than dorsal caudal lobe. Comparison of DNA sequences of the CO1 gene with those of related species supported C. opalescens n. sp. as a distinct species. Specimens of C. opalescens n. sp. were previously misidentified as Chimaera monstrosa, a species sharing a similar geographical distribution. Chimaera opalescens n. sp. lives in deeper water and is a larger-bodied species than C. monstrosa. The two species were newly exploited by deep-sea fisheries and confused under a single landing name.

  5. Intimal thickening of coronary arteries in the rabbitfish, Chimaera monstrosa L. (Chondrichthyes: Holocephali).

    PubMed

    Durán, A C; Rodríguez, C; Gil de Sola, L; Fernández, B; Arqué, J M; Sans-Coma, V

    2010-08-01

    This study is the first to report the occurrence of intimal thickening of coronary arteries in a holocephalan, namely the rabbitfish, Chimaera monstrosa. The sample studied consisted of five hearts from rabbitfish with body weights ranging between 12 g and 1116 g. The specimens were fixed in formalin, in methanol:acetone:water (MAW), or in paraformaldehyde and were examined by brightfield and polarization light microscopy. Coronary arteries from three larger animals displayed focal intimal thickenings, which were located in the left main coronary artery trunk, at the level of the cono-ventricular junction, and in several intramyocardial ventricular arteries. The vascular changes were characterized by myointimal proliferation, breakage or absence of the inner elastic lamina, and, in one case, by increased collagen within the myointimal proliferation. Taking into account the severity of the coronary arterial changes, their location, and the body weight of the affected animals, we conclude that (1) these changes are age-related in the rabbitfish and (2) local intense mechanical tension seems to be an important factor in their formation in this species.

  6. Evolutionary origin and phylogeny of the modern holocephalans (Chondrichthyes: Chimaeriformes): a mitogenomic perspective.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Jun G; Miya, Masaki; Lam, Kevin; Tay, Boon-Hui; Danks, Janine A; Bell, Justin; Walker, Terrence I; Venkatesh, Byrappa

    2010-11-01

    With our increasing ability for generating whole-genome sequences, comparative analysis of whole genomes has become a powerful tool for understanding the structure, function, and evolutionary history of human and other vertebrate genomes. By virtue of their position basal to bony vertebrates, cartilaginous fishes (class Chondrichthyes) are a valuable outgroup in comparative studies of vertebrates. Recently, a holocephalan cartilaginous fish, the elephant shark, Callorhinchus milii (Subclass Holocephali: Order Chimaeriformes), has been proposed as a model genome, and low-coverage sequence of its genome has been generated. Despite such an increasing interest, the evolutionary history of the modern holocephalans-a previously successful and diverse group but represented by only 39 extant species-and their relationship with elasmobranchs and other jawed vertebrates has been poorly documented largely owing to a lack of well-preserved fossil materials after the end-Permian about 250 Ma. In this study, we assembled the whole mitogenome sequences for eight representatives from all the three families of the modern holocephalans and investigated their phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history. Unambiguously aligned sequences from these holocephalans together with 17 other vertebrates (9,409 nt positions excluding entire third codon positions) were subjected to partitioned maximum likelihood analysis. The resulting tree strongly supported a single origin of the modern holocephalans and their sister-group relationship with elasmobranchs. The mitogenomic tree recovered the most basal callorhinchids within the chimaeriforms, which is sister to a clade comprising the remaining two families (rhinochimaerids and chimaerids). The timetree derived from a relaxed molecular clock Bayesian method suggests that the holocephalans originated in the Silurian about 420 Ma, having survived from the end-Permian (250 Ma) mass extinction and undergoing familial diversifications during

  7. Evolutionary origin and phylogeny of the modern holocephalans (Chondrichthyes: Chimaeriformes): a mitogenomic perspective.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Jun G; Miya, Masaki; Lam, Kevin; Tay, Boon-Hui; Danks, Janine A; Bell, Justin; Walker, Terrence I; Venkatesh, Byrappa

    2010-11-01

    With our increasing ability for generating whole-genome sequences, comparative analysis of whole genomes has become a powerful tool for understanding the structure, function, and evolutionary history of human and other vertebrate genomes. By virtue of their position basal to bony vertebrates, cartilaginous fishes (class Chondrichthyes) are a valuable outgroup in comparative studies of vertebrates. Recently, a holocephalan cartilaginous fish, the elephant shark, Callorhinchus milii (Subclass Holocephali: Order Chimaeriformes), has been proposed as a model genome, and low-coverage sequence of its genome has been generated. Despite such an increasing interest, the evolutionary history of the modern holocephalans-a previously successful and diverse group but represented by only 39 extant species-and their relationship with elasmobranchs and other jawed vertebrates has been poorly documented largely owing to a lack of well-preserved fossil materials after the end-Permian about 250 Ma. In this study, we assembled the whole mitogenome sequences for eight representatives from all the three families of the modern holocephalans and investigated their phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history. Unambiguously aligned sequences from these holocephalans together with 17 other vertebrates (9,409 nt positions excluding entire third codon positions) were subjected to partitioned maximum likelihood analysis. The resulting tree strongly supported a single origin of the modern holocephalans and their sister-group relationship with elasmobranchs. The mitogenomic tree recovered the most basal callorhinchids within the chimaeriforms, which is sister to a clade comprising the remaining two families (rhinochimaerids and chimaerids). The timetree derived from a relaxed molecular clock Bayesian method suggests that the holocephalans originated in the Silurian about 420 Ma, having survived from the end-Permian (250 Ma) mass extinction and undergoing familial diversifications during

  8. Comparative genomics approach to detecting split-coding regions in a low-coverage genome: lessons from the chimaera Callorhinchus milii (Holocephali, Chondrichthyes).

    PubMed

    Dessimoz, Christophe; Zoller, Stefan; Manousaki, Tereza; Qiu, Huan; Meyer, Axel; Kuraku, Shigehiro

    2011-09-01

    Recent development of deep sequencing technologies has facilitated de novo genome sequencing projects, now conducted even by individual laboratories. However, this will yield more and more genome sequences that are not well assembled, and will hinder thorough annotation when no closely related reference genome is available. One of the challenging issues is the identification of protein-coding sequences split into multiple unassembled genomic segments, which can confound orthology assignment and various laboratory experiments requiring the identification of individual genes. In this study, using the genome of a cartilaginous fish, Callorhinchus milii, as test case, we performed gene prediction using a model specifically trained for this genome. We implemented an algorithm, designated ESPRIT, to identify possible linkages between multiple protein-coding portions derived from a single genomic locus split into multiple unassembled genomic segments. We developed a validation framework based on an artificially fragmented human genome, improvements between early and recent mouse genome assemblies, comparison with experimentally validated sequences from GenBank, and phylogenetic analyses. Our strategy provided insights into practical solutions for efficient annotation of only partially sequenced (low-coverage) genomes. To our knowledge, our study is the first formulation of a method to link unassembled genomic segments based on proteomes of relatively distantly related species as references.

  9. A new species of Ischyodus (Chondrichthyes: Holocephali: Callorhynchidae) from Upper Maastrichtian Shallow marine facies of the Fox Hills and Hell Creek Formations, Williston basin, North Dakota, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoganson, J.W.; Erickson, J.M.

    2005-01-01

    A new species of chimaeroid, Ischyodus rayhaasi sp. nov., is described based primarily upon the number and configuration of tritors on palatine and mandibular tooth plates. This new species is named in honour of Mr Raymond Haas. Fossils of I. rayhaasi have been recovered from the Upper Maastrichtian Fox Hills Formation and the Breien Member and an unnamed member of the Hell Creek Formation at sites in south-central North Dakota and north-central South Dakota, USA. Ischyodus rayhaasi inhabited shallow marine waters in the central part of the Western Interior Seaway during the latest Cretaceous. Apparently it was also present in similar habitats at that time in the Volga region of Russia. Ischyodus rayhaasi is the youngest Cretaceous species Ischyodus known to exist before the Cretaceous/Tertiary extinction, and the species apparently did not survive that event. It was replaced by Ischyodus dolloi, which is found in the Paleocene Cannonball Formation of the Williston Basin region of North Dakota and is widely distributed elsewhere. ?? The Palaeontological Association.

  10. Structure and vascularization of the ventricular myocardium in Holocephali: their evolutionary significance.

    PubMed

    Durán, Ana C; López-Unzu, Miguel A; Rodríguez, Cristina; Fernández, Borja; Lorenzale, Miguel; Linares, Andrea; Salmerón, Francisca; Sans-Coma, Valentín

    2015-06-01

    the mixed ventricular myocardium is primitive for chondrichthyans. The reduction or even lack of compacta in holocephali has to be regarded as a derived anatomical trait. Our findings also fit in with the view that the mixed myocardium was the primitive condition in gnathostomes, and that the absence of compact ventricular myocardium in different actinopterygian groups is the result of a repeated loss of such type of cardiac muscle during fish evolution.

  11. The systematics of the Mongolepidida (Chondrichthyes) and the Ordovician origins of the clade.

    PubMed

    Andreev, Plamen; Coates, Michael I; Karatajūtė-Talimaa, Valentina; Shelton, Richard M; Cooper, Paul R; Wang, Nian-Zhong; Sansom, Ivan J

    2016-01-01

    The Mongolepidida is an Order of putative early chondrichthyan fish, originally erected to unite taxa from the Lower Silurian of Mongolia. The present study reassesses mongolepid systematics through the examination of the developmental, histological and morphological characteristics of scale-based specimens from the Upper Ordovician Harding Sandstone (Colorado, USA) and the Upper Llandovery-Lower Wenlock Yimugantawu (Tarim Basin, China), Xiushan (Guizhou Province, China) and Chargat (north-western Mongolia) Formations. The inclusion of the Mongolepidida within the Class Chondrichthyes is supported on the basis of a suite of scale attributes (areal odontode deposition, linear odontocomplex structure and lack of enamel, cancellous bone and hard-tissue resorption) shared with traditionally recognized chondrichthyans (euchondrichthyans, e.g., ctenacanthiforms). The mongolepid dermal skeleton exhibits a rare type of atubular dentine (lamellin) that is regarded as one of the diagnostic features of the Order within crown gnathostomes. The previously erected Mongolepididae and Shiqianolepidae families are revised, differentiated by scale-base histology and expanded to include the genera Rongolepisand Xinjiangichthys, respectively. A newly described mongolepid species (Solinalepis levis gen. et sp. nov.) from the Ordovician of North America is treated as family incertae sedis, as it possesses a type of basal bone tissue (acellular and vascular) that has yet to be documented in other mongolepids. This study extends the stratigraphic and palaeogeographic range of Mongolepidida and adds further evidence for an early diversification of the Chondrichthyes in the Ordovician Period, 50 million years prior to the first recorded appearance of euchondrichthyan teeth in the Lower Devonian.

  12. The systematics of the Mongolepidida (Chondrichthyes) and the Ordovician origins of the clade

    PubMed Central

    Coates, Michael I.; Karatajūtė-Talimaa, Valentina; Shelton, Richard M.; Cooper, Paul R.

    2016-01-01

    The Mongolepidida is an Order of putative early chondrichthyan fish, originally erected to unite taxa from the Lower Silurian of Mongolia. The present study reassesses mongolepid systematics through the examination of the developmental, histological and morphological characteristics of scale-based specimens from the Upper Ordovician Harding Sandstone (Colorado, USA) and the Upper Llandovery–Lower Wenlock Yimugantawu (Tarim Basin, China), Xiushan (Guizhou Province, China) and Chargat (north-western Mongolia) Formations. The inclusion of the Mongolepidida within the Class Chondrichthyes is supported on the basis of a suite of scale attributes (areal odontode deposition, linear odontocomplex structure and lack of enamel, cancellous bone and hard-tissue resorption) shared with traditionally recognized chondrichthyans (euchondrichthyans, e.g., ctenacanthiforms). The mongolepid dermal skeleton exhibits a rare type of atubular dentine (lamellin) that is regarded as one of the diagnostic features of the Order within crown gnathostomes. The previously erected Mongolepididae and Shiqianolepidae families are revised, differentiated by scale-base histology and expanded to include the genera Rongolepisand Xinjiangichthys, respectively. A newly described mongolepid species (Solinalepis levis gen. et sp. nov.) from the Ordovician of North America is treated as family incertae sedis, as it possesses a type of basal bone tissue (acellular and vascular) that has yet to be documented in other mongolepids. This study extends the stratigraphic and palaeogeographic range of Mongolepidida and adds further evidence for an early diversification of the Chondrichthyes in the Ordovician Period, 50 million years prior to the first recorded appearance of euchondrichthyan teeth in the Lower Devonian. PMID:27350896

  13. The systematics of the Mongolepidida (Chondrichthyes) and the Ordovician origins of the clade.

    PubMed

    Andreev, Plamen; Coates, Michael I; Karatajūtė-Talimaa, Valentina; Shelton, Richard M; Cooper, Paul R; Wang, Nian-Zhong; Sansom, Ivan J

    2016-01-01

    The Mongolepidida is an Order of putative early chondrichthyan fish, originally erected to unite taxa from the Lower Silurian of Mongolia. The present study reassesses mongolepid systematics through the examination of the developmental, histological and morphological characteristics of scale-based specimens from the Upper Ordovician Harding Sandstone (Colorado, USA) and the Upper Llandovery-Lower Wenlock Yimugantawu (Tarim Basin, China), Xiushan (Guizhou Province, China) and Chargat (north-western Mongolia) Formations. The inclusion of the Mongolepidida within the Class Chondrichthyes is supported on the basis of a suite of scale attributes (areal odontode deposition, linear odontocomplex structure and lack of enamel, cancellous bone and hard-tissue resorption) shared with traditionally recognized chondrichthyans (euchondrichthyans, e.g., ctenacanthiforms). The mongolepid dermal skeleton exhibits a rare type of atubular dentine (lamellin) that is regarded as one of the diagnostic features of the Order within crown gnathostomes. The previously erected Mongolepididae and Shiqianolepidae families are revised, differentiated by scale-base histology and expanded to include the genera Rongolepisand Xinjiangichthys, respectively. A newly described mongolepid species (Solinalepis levis gen. et sp. nov.) from the Ordovician of North America is treated as family incertae sedis, as it possesses a type of basal bone tissue (acellular and vascular) that has yet to be documented in other mongolepids. This study extends the stratigraphic and palaeogeographic range of Mongolepidida and adds further evidence for an early diversification of the Chondrichthyes in the Ordovician Period, 50 million years prior to the first recorded appearance of euchondrichthyan teeth in the Lower Devonian. PMID:27350896

  14. Mesobathic chondrichthyes of the Juan Fernández seamounts: are they different from those of the central Chilean continental slope?

    PubMed

    Andrade, Isabel; Pequeño, Germán

    2008-03-01

    We compared the geographic distribution of groups of chondrychthid fishes of two physically proximal, although geographically different, regions that include the Juan Fernández seamounts and the central Chilean continental slope, both sampled at mesopelagic and mesobenthonic depths. The ridge is in the Nazca Plate, while the slope region in on the South American Plate, and is closer to the South American continent. We found six species of Chondrichthyes for the seamounts (four orders, four families). The slope sampling produced ten species of Chondrichthyes, of which Torpedo tremens De Buen 1959, was the only species in common with the Juan Fernandez area. There are clear differences between the Chondrichthyes of the two regions. These fisheries require adequate administrative modes.

  15. Stiffening the stingray skeleton - an investigation of durophagy in myliobatid stingrays (Chondrichthyes, batoidea, myliobatidae).

    PubMed

    Summers, A P

    2000-02-01

    The stingray family Myliobatidae contains five durophagous (hard prey specialist) genera and two planktivorous genera. A suite of morphological features makes it possible for the hard prey specialists to crush mollusks and crustaceans in their cartilaginous jaws. These include: 1) flat, pavement-like tooth plates set in an elastic dental ligament; 2) multiple layers of calcified cartilage on the surface of the jaws; 3) calcified struts running through the jaws; and 4) a lever system that amplifies the force of the jaw adductors. Examination of a range of taxa reveals that the presence of multiple layers of calcified cartilage, previously described from just a few species, is a plesiomorphy of Chondrichthyes. Calcified struts within the jaw, called "trabecular cartilage," are found only in the myliobatid genera, including the planktivorous Manta birostris. In the durophagous taxa, the struts are concentrated under the area where prey is crushed, thereby preventing local buckling of the jaws. Trabecular cartilage develops early in ontogeny, and does not appear to develop as a direct result of the stresses associated with feeding on hard prey. A "nutcracker" model of jaw function is proposed. In this model, the restricted gape, fused mandibular and palatoquadrate symphyses, and asynchronous contraction of the jaw adductors function to amplify the closing force by 2-4 times. PMID:10658196

  16. Morphological observations of ampullae of lorenzini in Squatina guggenheim and S. occulta (Chondrichthyes, Elasmobranchii, Squatinidae).

    PubMed

    Tavares Schäfer, Bárbara; Malavasi, Carlos Eduardo; Favaron, Phelipe Oliveira; Ambrósio, Carlos Eduardo; Miglino, Maria Angelica; Ferreira De Amorim, Alberto; Grassi Rici, Rose Eli

    2012-09-01

    We have conducted a morphological study of the ampullae of Lorenzini on two shark species from Squatina Genus. In both species, S. guggenheim and S. occulta, the ampullae were observed like small pores scattered in the head region similar to other species of the Chondrichthyes Class. However, differently of the other species a greatest density of ampullae of Lorenzini was observed along of the body surface. After fixation using 10% formaldehyde, the ampullae were removed and processed for light and scanning electron microscopy. Macroscopically, the two shark species differed by the presence of dorsal spines that appeared from the head to the first dorsal fin in S. guggenheim and were absent in S. occulta. Microscopically, there were no differences between the ampullae of Lorenzini channels in these two species. The wall of the ampulla was formed by a simple squamous epithelium. Bands of connective tissue, hyaline cartilage and collagen fibers were found between the ampulla and the skeletal striated muscle layer. Nerve branches responsible for conducting signal pulses to the central nervous system were visible between the muscle and connective tissue layers. Using scanning electron microscopy and histological analysis, we found that the channels were twisted and positioned parallel to the skin. The inside of the channels contained a large amount of a gelatinous secretion composed by polysaccharides. Therefore, we conclude that the morphological combination of extended distribution of the ampullae of Lorenzini and the body shape may represent an adaptation of these species to their way of life.

  17. A New Paleozoic Symmoriiformes (Chondrichthyes) from the Late Carboniferous of Kansas (USA) and Cladistic Analysis of Early Chondrichthyans

    PubMed Central

    Pradel, Alan; Tafforeau, Paul; Maisey, John G.; Janvier, Philippe

    2011-01-01

    Background The relationships of cartilaginous fishes are discussed in the light of well preserved three-dimensional Paleozoic specimens. There is no consensus to date on the interrelationship of Paleozoic chondrichthyans, although three main phylogenetic hypotheses exist in the current literature: 1. the Paleozoic shark-like chondrichthyans, such as the Symmoriiformes, are grouped along with the modern sharks (neoselachians) into a clade which is sister group of holocephalans; 2. the Symmoriiformes are related to holocephalans, whereas the other Paleozoic shark-like chondrichthyans are related to neoselachians; 3. many Paleozoic shark-like chondrichthyans, such as the Symmoriiformes, are stem chondrichthyans, whereas stem and crown holocephalans are sister group to the stem and crown neoselachians in a crown-chondrichthyan clade. This third hypothesis was proposed recently, based mainly on dental characters. Methodology/Principal Findings On the basis of two well preserved chondrichthyan neurocrania from the Late Carboniferous of Kansas, USA, we describe here a new species of Symmoriiformes, Kawichthys moodiei gen. et sp. nov., which was investigated by means of computerized X-ray synchrotron microtomography. We present a new phylogenetic analysis based on neurocranial characters, which supports the third hypothesis and corroborates the hypothesis that crown-group chondrichthyans (Holocephali+Neoselachii) form a tightly-knit group within the chondrichthyan total group, by providing additional, non dental characters. Conclusions/Significance Our results highlight the importance of new well preserved Paleozoic fossils and new techniques of observation, and suggest that a new look at the synapomorphies of the crown-group chondrichthyans would be worthwhile in terms of understanding the adaptive significance of phylogenetically important characters. PMID:21980367

  18. Neoselachians and Chimaeriformes (Chondrichthyes) from the latest Cretaceous-Paleogene of Sierra Baguales, southernmost Chile. Chronostratigraphic, paleobiogeographic and paleoenvironmental implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otero, Rodrigo A.; Oyarzún, José Luis; Soto-Acuña, Sergio; Yury-Yáñez, Roberto E.; Gutierrez, Nestor M.; Le Roux, Jacobus P.; Torres, Teresa; Hervé, Francisco

    2013-12-01

    This paper discusses a well-represented fossil record of cartilaginous fishes (Chondrichthyes) from southern South America. The recovered samples allow the recognition of three assemblages with chronostratigraphic and paleogeographic value: i) typical Maastrichtian sharks and rays with affinities to eastern Pacific fauna, including the taxa Ischyrhiza chilensis, Serratolamna serrata, Centrophoroides sp. associated to Carcharias sp., and Dasyatidae indet.; ii) a scarce reworked assemblage of Paleocene-Early Eocene age including the taxa Otodus obliquus and Megascyliorhinus cooperi; iii) a rich assemblage with reworked taxa of Early to Middle Eocene age, together with autochthonous deposited Middle to Late Eocene taxa with close affinities to paleoichthyofaunas recovered from the North Atlantic, represented by Carcharias 'hopei', Odontaspis winkleri, Carcharoides catticus, Macrorhizodus praecursor, Carcharocles auriculatus, Striatolamia sp., Striatolamia macrota, Hexanchus agassizi, Notorhynchus sp., Myliobatis sp., Abdounia sp., Pristiophorus sp., Squatina sp., cf. Rhizoprionodon sp., Ischyodus sp., and one new species, Jaekelotodus bagualensis sp. nov. The studied samples include for the first time taxa with well established chronostratigraphic resolutions as well as taphonomic information that help clarifying the age of the fossil-bearing units. In addition, they provide relevant information about the evolution of the Magallanes (=Austral) Basin from the Upper Cretaceous to the Paleogene, suggesting a probable connection with the Quiriquina Basin of south-central Chile during the latest Cretaceous. Finally, the studied assemblages indicate a latitudinal pattern of distribution that provides valuable data on the environmental evolution and temperature of southern South America during the Paleogene.

  19. Morphological and molecular characterization of a new myxozoan species (Myxosporea) infecting the gall bladder of Raja clavata (Chondrichthyes), from the Portuguese Atlantic Coast.

    PubMed

    Rocha, S; Casal, G; Al-Quraishy, S; Azevedo, C

    2013-04-01

    Microscopic and molecular procedures are used to describe a new myxosporean species, Chloromyxum clavatum n. sp., infecting the cartilaginous fish Raja clavata Linnaeus, 1758 (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae), collected from the northwest Atlantic coast of Portugal. Young plasmodia and mature spores were found floating free in the gall bladder of R. clavata . Spores were spherical to subspherical with a pointed anterior end, measuring14.4 ± 0.5 μm (n = 25) in length, 11.9 ± 0.5 μm (n = 25) in width, and 9.4 ± 0.5 μm (n = 15) in thickness. The spore's wall was composed of 2 equally sized valves, each displaying 6-8 elevated surface ridges and a bundle of several tapering caudal filaments attached to the basal portion. Spores contained 4 pyriform equally sized polar capsules (5.5 ± 0.4 μm × 2.9 ± 0.5 μm) (n = 25), each possessing an obliquely arranged isofilar polar filament coiled in 7-8 coils. Morphological data, host specificity, tissue tropism, and molecular analysis of the SSU rDNA gene identify this parasite as a new species of Chloromyxum. Neighbor-joining and maximum likelihood further reveal the parasite clustering with other species of Chloromyxum infecting the gall bladder of marine cartilaginous fish to form a clade positioned at the base of the freshwater clade, therefore constituting an exception to the major division of the class Myxosporea into the freshwater and marine clades, while supporting the existence of a correlation between tissue tropism and myxosporean phylogeny.

  20. Dental homologies in lamniform sharks (Chondrichthyes: Elasmobranchii).

    PubMed

    Shimada, Kenshu

    2002-01-01

    The dentitions of lamniform sharks are said to exhibit a unique heterodonty called the "lamnoid tooth pattern." The presence of an inflated hollow "dental bulla" on each jaw cartilage allows the recognition of homologous teeth across most modern macrophagous lamniforms based on topographic correspondence through the "similarity test." In most macrophagous lamniforms, three tooth rows are supported by the upper dental bulla: two rows of large anterior teeth followed by a row of small intermediate teeth. The lower tooth row occluding between the two rows of upper anterior teeth is the first lower anterior tooth row. Like the first and second lower anterior tooth rows, the third lower tooth row is supported by the dental bulla and may be called the first lower intermediate tooth row. The lower intermediate tooth row occludes between the first and second upper lateral tooth rows situated distal to the upper dental bulla, and the rest of the upper and lower tooth rows, all called lateral tooth rows, occlude alternately. Tooth symmetry cannot be used to identify their dental homology. The presence of dental bullae can be regarded as a synapomorphy of Lamniformes and this character is more definable than the "lamnoid tooth pattern." The formation of the tooth pattern appears to be related to the evolution of dental bullae. This study constitutes the first demonstration of supraspecific tooth-to-tooth dental homologies in nonmammalian vertebrates.

  1. Biogeographic patterns in the cartilaginous fauna (Pisces: Elasmobranchii and Holocephali) in the southeast Pacific Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Vargas-Caro, Carolina; Bennett, Michael B.

    2014-01-01

    The abundance and species richness of the cartilaginous fish community of the continental shelf and slope off central Chile is described, based on fishery-independent trawl tows made in 2006 and 2007. A total of 194,705 specimens comprising 20 species (9 sharks, 10 skates, 1 chimaera) were caught at depths of 100–500 m along a 1,000 km transect between 29.5°S and 39°S. Sample site locations were grouped to represent eight geographical zones within this latitudinal range. Species richness fluctuated from 1 to 6 species per zone. There was no significant latitudinal trend for sharks, but skates showed an increased species richness with latitude. Standardised catch per unit effort (CPUE) increased with increasing depth for sharks, but not for skates, but the observed trend for increasing CPUE with latitude was not significant for either sharks or skates. A change in community composition occurred along the depth gradient with the skates, Psammobatis rudis, Zearaja chilensis and Dipturus trachyderma dominating communities between 100 and 300 m, but small-sized, deep-water dogfishes, such as Centroscyllium spp. dominated the catch between 300 and 500 m. Cluster and ordination analysis identified one widespread assemblage, grouping 58% of sites, and three shallow-water assemblages. Assemblages with low diversity (coldspots) coincided with highly productive fishing grounds for demersal crustaceans and bony fishes. The community distribution suggested that the differences between assemblages may be due to compensatory changes in mesopredator species abundance, as a consequence of continuous and unselective species removal. Distribution patterns and the quantitative assessment of sharks, skates and chimaeras presented here complement extant biogeographic knowledge and further the understanding of deep-water ecosystem dynamics in relation to fishing activity in the south-east Pacific Ocean. PMID:24918036

  2. Not all fish are equal: functional biodiversity of cartilaginous fishes (Elasmobranchii and Holocephali) in Chile.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, C; Vargas-Caro, C; Bennett, M B

    2014-11-01

    A review of the primary literature on the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaeras), together with new information suggests that 106 species occur in Chilean waters, comprising 58 sharks, 30 skates, 13 rays and five chimaeras. The presence of 93 species was confirmed, although 30 species were encountered rarely, through validated catch records and sightings made in artisanal and commercial fisheries and on specific research cruises. Overall, only 63 species appear to have a range distribution that normally includes Chilean waters. Actual reliable records of occurrence are lacking for 13 species. Chile has a cartilaginous fish fauna that is relatively impoverished compared with the global species inventory, but conservative compared with countries in South America with warm-temperate waters. The region of highest species richness occurs in the mid-Chilean latitudes of c. 30-40° S. This region represents a transition zone with a mix of species related to both the warm-temperate Peruvian province to the north and cold-temperate Magellan province to the south. This study provides clarification of species occurrence and the functional biodiversity of Chile's cartilaginous fish fauna.

  3. Mechanisms of vasodilation in the dorsal aorta of the elephant fish, Callorhinchus milii (Chimaeriformes: Holocephali).

    PubMed

    Jennings, Brett L; Bell, Justin D; Hyodo, Susumu; Toop, Tes; Donald, John A

    2007-07-01

    This study investigated vasodilator mechanisms in the dorsal aorta of the elephant fish, Callorhinchus milii, using anatomical and physiological approaches. Nitric oxide synthase could only be located in the perivascular nerve fibres and not the endothelium of the dorsal aorta, using NADPH histochemistry and immunohistochemistry. In vitro organ bath experiments demonstrated that a NO/soluble guanylyl cyclase (GC) system appeared to be absent in the vascular smooth muscle, since the NO donors SNP (10(-4) mol l(-1)) and SIN-1 (10(-5) mol l(-1)) were without effect. Nicotine (3 x 10(-4) mol l(-1)) mediated a vasodilation that was not affected by ODQ (10(-5) mol l(-1)), L-NNA (10(-4) mol l(-1)), indomethacin (10(-5) mol l(-1)), or removal of the endothelium. In contrast, the voltage-gated sodium channel inhibitor, tetrodotoxin (10(-5) mol l(-1)), significantly decreased the dilation induced by nicotine, suggesting that it contained a neural component. Pre-incubation of the dorsal aorta with the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonist, CGRP(8-37) (10(-6) mol l(-1)) also caused a significant decrease in the nicotine-induced dilation. We propose that nicotine is mediating a neurally-derived vasodilation in the dorsal aorta that is independent of NO, prostaglandins and the endothelium, and partly mediated by CGRP. PMID:17342492

  4. Biogeographic patterns in the cartilaginous fauna (Pisces: Elasmobranchii and Holocephali) in the southeast Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Carlos; Vargas-Caro, Carolina; Bennett, Michael B

    2014-01-01

    The abundance and species richness of the cartilaginous fish community of the continental shelf and slope off central Chile is described, based on fishery-independent trawl tows made in 2006 and 2007. A total of 194,705 specimens comprising 20 species (9 sharks, 10 skates, 1 chimaera) were caught at depths of 100-500 m along a 1,000 km transect between 29.5°S and 39°S. Sample site locations were grouped to represent eight geographical zones within this latitudinal range. Species richness fluctuated from 1 to 6 species per zone. There was no significant latitudinal trend for sharks, but skates showed an increased species richness with latitude. Standardised catch per unit effort (CPUE) increased with increasing depth for sharks, but not for skates, but the observed trend for increasing CPUE with latitude was not significant for either sharks or skates. A change in community composition occurred along the depth gradient with the skates, Psammobatis rudis, Zearaja chilensis and Dipturus trachyderma dominating communities between 100 and 300 m, but small-sized, deep-water dogfishes, such as Centroscyllium spp. dominated the catch between 300 and 500 m. Cluster and ordination analysis identified one widespread assemblage, grouping 58% of sites, and three shallow-water assemblages. Assemblages with low diversity (coldspots) coincided with highly productive fishing grounds for demersal crustaceans and bony fishes. The community distribution suggested that the differences between assemblages may be due to compensatory changes in mesopredator species abundance, as a consequence of continuous and unselective species removal. Distribution patterns and the quantitative assessment of sharks, skates and chimaeras presented here complement extant biogeographic knowledge and further the understanding of deep-water ecosystem dynamics in relation to fishing activity in the south-east Pacific Ocean.

  5. Bipteria vetusta n. sp. – an old parasite in an old host: tracing the origin of myxosporean parasitism in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kodádková, Alena; Bartošová-Sojková, Pavla; Holzer, Astrid S; Fiala, Ivan

    2015-03-01

    Myxosporea (Myxozoa), a group of parasitic Cnidaria, use mostly bony fishes (Teleostei) as intermediate hosts; however, they can also parasitize other vertebrates such as cartilaginous fish (Chondrichthyes). Molecular data of myxosporeans from sharks and rays (Elasmobranchii) revealed these parasites to be one of the most basal representatives in the myxosporean phylogenetic tree, suggesting their ancient evolutionary history. A new myxosporean species, Bipteria vetusta n. sp., was found in the gall bladder of rabbit fish, Chimaera monstrosa (Holocephali; Chondrichthyes), and ssrDNA-based phylogeny revealed its basal position within the marine myxosporean lineage. Molecular dating based on ssrDNA analysis suggested the origin of a stem lineage leading to the marine myxosporean lineage at the time of the origin of Chondrichthyes in the Silurian era. The two common lineages of Myxozoa, Myxosporea and Malacosporea, were estimated to have split from their common ancestor in the Cambrian era. Tracing the history of evolution of the "vertebrate host type" character in the context of molecular dating showed that cartilaginous fish represented an ancestral state for all myxosporeans. Teleosts were very likely subsequently parasitized by myxozoans four times, independently. Myxosporean radiation and diversification appear to correlate with intermediate host evolution. The first intermediate hosts of myxosporeans were cartilaginous fish. When bony fish evolved and radiated, myxosporeans switched and adapted to bony fish, and subsequently greatly diversified in this new host niche. We believe that the present study is the first attempt at molecular dating of myxozoan evolution based on an old myxosporean species – a living myxosporean fossil. PMID:25659495

  6. Mitochondrial genome of longheaded eagle ray Aetobatus flagellum (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatidae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Yang, Baojuan; Yamaguchi, Atsuko; Furumitsu, Keisuke; Zhang, Baowei

    2015-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the Aetobatus flagellum is 20,201 bp long and consists of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes and 1 control region (CR). The base composition of the genome is 30.9% A, 28.2% T, 27.1% C and 13.8% G. Comparing mtDNA of elasmobranchs submitted in NCBI, our study not only identified the longest mitochondrial genome with 4490 bp CR in A. flagellum, but also strongly revealed that records in the northwest Pacific may belong to a separate species from those distributed in Indonesia.

  7. Systematic implications of brain morphology in potamotrygonidae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes).

    PubMed

    Fontenelle, João Pedro; de Carvalho, Marcelo R

    2016-02-01

    The gross brain morphology, brain proportions, and position of cranial nerves in all four genera (Potamotrygon, Plesiotrygon, Paratrygon, and Heliotrygon) and 11 of the species of the Neotropical stingray family Potamotrygonidae were studied to provide new characters that may have a bearing on internal potamotrygonid systematics. The brain was also studied in four other stingray (Myliobatiformes) genera (Hexatrygon, Taeniura, Dasyatis, and Gymnura) to provide a more inclusive phylogenetic context for the interpretation of features of the brain in potamotrygonids. Our results indicate, based on neuroanatomical characters, that the genera Paratrygon and Heliotrygon are sister groups, as are the genera Potamotrygon and Plesiotrygon, agreeing with previous morphological and molecular phylogenetic studies. Both groups of genera share distinct conditions of the olfactory tracts, telencephalon and its central nuclei, hypophysis and infundibulum, morphology and orientation of the metencephalic corpus cerebelli, orientation of the glossopharyngeal nerve, and overall encephalic proportions. The corpus cerebelli of Paratrygon and Heliotrygon is interpreted as being more similar to the general batoid condition and, given their phylogenetic position highly nested within stingrays, is considered secondarily derived, not plesiomorphically retained. Our observations of the corpus cerebelli of stingrays, including Hexatrygon, corroborate that the general stingray pattern previously advanced by Northcutt is derived among batoids. The morphology of the brain is shown to be a useful source of phylogenetically informative characters at lower hierarchical levels, such as between genera and species, and thus, has significant potential in phylogenetic studies of elasmobranchs.

  8. Mitochondrial genome of Japanese angel shark Squatina japonica (Chondrichthyes: Squatinidae).

    PubMed

    Chai, Aihong; Yamaguchi, Atsuko; Furumitsu, Keisuke; Zhang, Jie

    2016-01-01

    Squatina japonica belonging to the monogenetic family Squatinidae is endemic to the Northwest Pacific. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of S. japonica is 16,689 bp long and comprises 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 1 control region. The base composition of the genome is 31.10% A, 31.04% T, 24.42% C, and 13.43% G. The geographic clade and phylogenetic relationship of S. japonica are ambiguous. Therefore, studying the complete mitochondrial genome of S. japonica is highly important to understand the aforementioned aspect and to analyze the conservation genetics in the genus Squatina.

  9. Systematic implications of brain morphology in potamotrygonidae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes).

    PubMed

    Fontenelle, João Pedro; de Carvalho, Marcelo R

    2016-02-01

    The gross brain morphology, brain proportions, and position of cranial nerves in all four genera (Potamotrygon, Plesiotrygon, Paratrygon, and Heliotrygon) and 11 of the species of the Neotropical stingray family Potamotrygonidae were studied to provide new characters that may have a bearing on internal potamotrygonid systematics. The brain was also studied in four other stingray (Myliobatiformes) genera (Hexatrygon, Taeniura, Dasyatis, and Gymnura) to provide a more inclusive phylogenetic context for the interpretation of features of the brain in potamotrygonids. Our results indicate, based on neuroanatomical characters, that the genera Paratrygon and Heliotrygon are sister groups, as are the genera Potamotrygon and Plesiotrygon, agreeing with previous morphological and molecular phylogenetic studies. Both groups of genera share distinct conditions of the olfactory tracts, telencephalon and its central nuclei, hypophysis and infundibulum, morphology and orientation of the metencephalic corpus cerebelli, orientation of the glossopharyngeal nerve, and overall encephalic proportions. The corpus cerebelli of Paratrygon and Heliotrygon is interpreted as being more similar to the general batoid condition and, given their phylogenetic position highly nested within stingrays, is considered secondarily derived, not plesiomorphically retained. Our observations of the corpus cerebelli of stingrays, including Hexatrygon, corroborate that the general stingray pattern previously advanced by Northcutt is derived among batoids. The morphology of the brain is shown to be a useful source of phylogenetically informative characters at lower hierarchical levels, such as between genera and species, and thus, has significant potential in phylogenetic studies of elasmobranchs. PMID:26592726

  10. Records of chimaeroid fishes (Holocephali: Chimaeriformes) from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, with the description of a new species of Chimera (Chimaeridae) from the eastern Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Angulo, Arturo; López, Myrna I; Bussing, William A; Murase, Atsunobu

    2014-09-18

    A new species of Chimaera Linnaeus 1758 is described from three specimens collected from off the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica and Peru. Chimaera orientalis n. sp., the first species of the genus described from the eastern Pacific Ocean, is distinguished from its other congeners by a combination of coloration and morphology. Additionally, new records of occurrence for another four species of chimaeroid fishes (Harriotta raleighana (Goode & Bean 1895), Rhinochimaera africana Compagno, Stehmann & Ebert 1990, Hydrolagus colliei Lay & Bennett 1839, and H. macrophthalmus de Buen 1959) previously unknown for the continental shelf of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Central America are reported. A key to the eastern Pacific species of the order Chimaeriformes is also presented.

  11. Reproductive biology of the stingrays, Myliobatis goodei and Myliobatis ridens (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatidae), in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Araújo, P R V; Oddone, M C; Velasco, G

    2016-07-01

    This study, carried out between spring 2012 and winter 2014, characterized the sexual development and reproductive cycle of Myliobatis goodei and Myliobatis ridens in the extreme south of Brazil to support future management and conservation plans. Ninety-five specimens of M. goodei (24 males and 71 females) and 175 M. ridens (24 males and 151 females) were sampled. Female M. goodei attained disc-width-at-50% maturity (WD50 ) at 683 mm. Uterine fecundity was four to five embryos. The largest male recorded, a mature individual, had a disc width of 650 mm. In M. ridens, WD50 was 662 mm. Uterine fecundity varied from one to eight embryos. The largest male on record was a maturing 590 mm WD individual. The hepato-somatic index was higher in autumn in females of M. goodei, and in the summer in M. ridens. The gonado-somatic index and the largest vitellogenic follicle diameter were higher in spring in both species. Pregnant females of both species were recorded during spring, although for M. ridens, these females also occurred in summer. Embryos had WD of 61-218 and 40-236 mm for M. goodei and M. ridens, respectively. The incidence of pregnant females in southern Brazil in spring-summer coincides with the small-scale beach artisanal fisheries season peak, when M. goodei and M. ridens suffer fishing mortality, while using the coastal shallow areas in the warmer periods (spring-summer) to give birth. PMID:27221505

  12. Reproductive biology of Zearaja chilensis (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae) in the south-east Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, C; Vargas-Caro, C; Oddone, M C; Concha, F; Flores, H; Lamilla, J; Bennett, M B

    2012-04-01

    Between 2000 and 2002, three artisanal landing sites were sampled in southern Chile, with data on population structure and reproductive development collected from 5477 yellownose skates Zearaja chilensis. Total length (L(T) ) ranged from 33 to 158 cm for females and 34 to 155 cm for males. No sexual dimorphism was evident in disc size (length or width) or in L(T)-mass relationships. The smallest mature female was 95 cm L(T) and the size at which 50% were mature (L(T50) ) was 109 cm. Males matured between 80 and 90 cm L(T) with a L(T50) of 88 cm. Although the largest Z. chilensis captured by the artisanal fishery was 155 cm L(T) , 89% of landings comprised relatively small, immature fish. This situation may compromise the stock integrity if intrinsic vulnerability and probable long-life span of Z. chilensis are considered. Consequences for the survival of the species and possible signs of a fishery collapse must be reviewed by management authorities by consideration of both artisanal and industrial landings in Chile. PMID:22497380

  13. Evolutionary origins and development of saw-teeth on the sawfish and sawshark rostrum (Elasmobranchii; Chondrichthyes)

    PubMed Central

    Welten, Monique; Smith, Moya Meredith; Underwood, Charlie; Johanson, Zerina

    2015-01-01

    A well-known characteristic of chondrichthyans (e.g. sharks, rays) is their covering of external skin denticles (placoid scales), but less well understood is the wide morphological diversity that these skin denticles can show. Some of the more unusual of these are the tooth-like structures associated with the elongate cartilaginous rostrum ‘saw’ in three chondrichthyan groups: Pristiophoridae (sawsharks; Selachii), Pristidae (sawfish; Batoidea) and the fossil Sclerorhynchoidea (Batoidea). Comparative topographic and developmental studies of the ‘saw-teeth’ were undertaken in adults and embryos of these groups, by means of three-dimensional-rendered volumes from X-ray computed tomography. This provided data on development and relative arrangement in embryos, with regenerative replacement in adults. Saw-teeth are morphologically similar on the rostra of the Pristiophoridae and the Sclerorhynchoidea, with the same replacement modes, despite the lack of a close phylogenetic relationship. In both, tooth-like structures develop under the skin of the embryos, aligned with the rostrum surface, before rotating into lateral position and then attaching through a pedicel to the rostrum cartilage. As well, saw-teeth are replaced and added to as space becomes available. By contrast, saw-teeth in Pristidae insert into sockets in the rostrum cartilage, growing continuously and are not replaced. Despite superficial similarity to oral tooth developmental organization, saw-tooth spatial initiation arrangement is associated with rostrum growth. Replacement is space-dependent and more comparable to that of dermal skin denticles. We suggest these saw-teeth represent modified dermal denticles and lack the ‘many-for-one’ replacement characteristic of elasmobranch oral dentitions. PMID:26473044

  14. Development and Evolution of Dentition Pattern and Tooth Order in the Skates And Rays (Batoidea; Chondrichthyes)

    PubMed Central

    Underwood, Charlie J.; Johanson, Zerina; Welten, Monique; Metscher, Brian; Rasch, Liam J.; Fraser, Gareth J.; Smith, Moya Meredith

    2015-01-01

    Shark and ray (elasmobranch) dentitions are well known for their multiple generations of teeth, with isolated teeth being common in the fossil record. However, how the diverse dentitions characteristic of elasmobranchs form is still poorly understood. Data on the development and maintenance of the dental patterning in this major vertebrate group will allow comparisons to other morphologically diverse taxa, including the bony fishes, in order to identify shared pattern characters for the vertebrate dentition as a whole. Data is especially lacking from the Batoidea (skates and rays), hence our objective is to compile data on embryonic and adult batoid tooth development contributing to ordering of the dentition, from cleared and stained specimens and micro-CT scans, with 3D rendered models. We selected species (adult and embryonic) spanning phylogenetically significant batoid clades, such that our observations may raise questions about relationships within the batoids, particularly with respect to current molecular-based analyses. We include developmental data from embryos of recent model organisms Leucoraja erinacea and Raja clavata to evaluate the earliest establishment of the dentition. Characters of the batoid dentition investigated include alternate addition of teeth as offset successional tooth rows (versus single separate files), presence of a symphyseal initiator region (symphyseal tooth present, or absent, but with two parasymphyseal teeth) and a restriction to tooth addition along each jaw reducing the number of tooth families, relative to addition of successor teeth within each family. Our ultimate aim is to understand the shared characters of the batoids, and whether or not these dental characters are shared more broadly within elasmobranchs, by comparing these to dentitions in shark outgroups. These developmental morphological analyses will provide a solid basis to better understand dental evolution in these important vertebrate groups as well as the general plesiomorphic vertebrate dental condition. PMID:25874547

  15. Enameloid microstructure of some Cretaceous Hexanchiformes and Synechodontiformes (Chondrichthyes, Neoselachii): new structures and systematic implications.

    PubMed

    Guinot, Guillaume; Cappetta, Henri

    2011-02-01

    Modern neoselachian sharks may be separated from more basal relatives by the presence of tooth enameloid comprising three layers. Although enameloid microstructure studies were mostly used in the aim of differentiating supposed basal neoselachians from hybodonts, differences in the enameloid organization among neoselachians have been recognized suggesting the potential for use of enameloid microstructure as a phylogenetic tool within the neoselachian sharks. The enameloid microstructure of five taxa of neoselachian sharks belonging to two orders, the Hexanchiformes and Synechodontiformes, has been studied. The Hexanchiformes are a monophyletic order with extant representatives, whereas the extinct Synechodontiformes have been considered as monophyletic, paraphyletic, or polyphyletic by different authors. This study has revealed numerous new enameloid microstructures such as amalgamated crystallites in the internal units [parallel-bundled enameloid (PBE) and tangled-bundled enameloid], cavities at the shiny-layered enameloid (SLE)/PBE boundary, radial furrows in the PBE, as well as different original organizations at the base of the crown and in the PBE at the level of the cutting edges. Pachyhexanchus pockrandti (Hexanchiforme) and Welcommia bodeuri have the most of the features in common and they share more characters with those of Paraorthacodus sp. and Sphenodus sp. than with Synechodus sp.

  16. Tetronarce cowleyi, sp. nov., a new species of electric ray from southern Africa (Chondrichthyes: Torpediniformes: Torpedinidae).

    PubMed

    Ebert, David A; Haas, Diane L; De Carvalho, Marcelo R

    2015-01-01

    A new species of torpedo ray, Tetronarce cowleyi, sp. nov., is described from specimens collected from the southeastern Atlantic Ocean. The new species is placed in the genus Tetronarce based on a uniform dorsal coloration and absence of papillae around the spiracles. The new species is distinguished from its closest congeners, the North Atlantic Tetronarce nobiliana Bonnaparte, 1835, and southwestern Atlantic Tetronarce puelcha Lahille, 1926, by a combination of morphological characteristics including a shorter spiracular length, a proportionally greater head length as measured between snout margin and fifth gill openings, a proportionally greater preoral snout length, a uniform shiny black or dark gray dorsal surface, lacking any prominent markings, and a creamy white ventral color with dark edges in juveniles but fading with growth. Teteronarce cowleyi, sp. nov., is further distinguished from T. nobiliana by its more circular anterior disc shape (vs. relatively straight in T. nobiliana), fewer tooth rows (32/28 vs. 38-53/38-52 in T. nobiliana), greater mouth width (1.5-1.7 times as great as interorbital width vs. 0.5-0.6 times interorbital width in T. nobiliana), smaller distance between second dorsal and caudal fins (3.5-4.9% vs. 6.6-6.8% in T. nobiliana), and a clasper length extending nearly to lower caudal fin origin (claspers in T. nobiliana that extend only two-thirds distance between second dorsal and caudal fins). Teteronarce cowleyi, sp. nov., is known from Walvis Bay, Namibia to Algoa Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa, at depths of 110 to 457 m. PMID:25947432

  17. Complete mitochondrial genome of the megamouth shark Megachasma pelagios (Chondrichthyes, Megachasmidae).

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Hao; Shao, Kwang-Tsao; Lin, Yeong-Shin; Chiang, Wei-Chuan; Jang-Liaw, Nian-Hong

    2014-06-01

    Here we describe the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the megamouth shark, Megachasma pelagios, which is an extremely rare species of deepwater shark. The circle genome (16,694 bp) consists of 13 protein coding, 22 tRNA, 2 rRNA genes and 1 control region. It has the typical vertebrate mitochondrial gene arrangement.

  18. The complete mitochondrial genome of the basking shark Cetorhinus maximus (Chondrichthyes, Cetorhinidae).

    PubMed

    Hester, Jennifer; Atwater, Kimberly; Bernard, Andrea; Francis, Malcolm; Shivji, Mahmood S

    2015-01-01

    The basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is the world's second largest fish and the subject of strong conservation concern. Minimal genetic assessment exists for this globally distributed but regionally endangered species. We describe the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of C. maximus, obtained via polymerase chain reaction-based Sanger sequencing. The total length of the mitogenome is 16,670 bp and consists of 2 rRNAs, 22 tRNAs and 13 protein-coding genes. The base composition has an A + T bias (63.6%), as is often seen in other sharks. Gene order is equivalent to that found in most vertebrates.

  19. Mandibular and hyoid muscles of Galeomorph sharks (Chondrichthyes: Elasmobranchii), with remarks on their phylogenetic intrarelationships.

    PubMed

    Soares, Mateus C; de Carvalho, Marcelo R

    2013-10-01

    The superorder Galeomorph comprises the orders Heterodontiformes, Orectolobiformes, Lamniformes, and Carcharhiniformes. Recent morphological and molecular support that it is a monophyletic taxon. The phyletic relationship within the Galeomorphi are also well resolved. However, only few morphological characters of the mandibular and hyoid muscles have been employed, and a detailed description of these muscles and their variations may contribute new interpretations of homology and to the discussion of different hypothesis of intrarelationships. This paper provides a detailed description of mandibular and hyoid arch muscles in galeomorph sharks, within a comparative elasmobranch framework, with the objective to discuss putative homologies that may elucidate our understanding of galeomorph evolution. Twenty-eight galeomorph species were dissected, described, illustrated and compared with other elasmobranchs and with data from the literature. The Galeomorphi are supported as monophyletic by presenting the m. levator labii superioris attached directly to the neurocranium, different from the attachment through a tendon in basal squalomorphs. Heterodontiformes and Orectolobiformes share particular variations in the position and insertion of the m. levator labii superioris and the presence of a well-defined m. levator hyomandibulae. Lamniformes and Carcharhiniformes show similar patterns in the position and attachment of the m. levator labii superioris, subdivision of the m. adductor mandibulae, and the presence of an almost indivisible m. levator hyomandibulae and m. constrictor hyoideus dorsalis, similar to the condition, albeit independently, in basal squalomorphs. No specific mandibular or hyoid arch muscle character was found to support the clade composed of Orectolobiformes, Lamniformes, and Carcharhiniformes, as advocated by recent phylogenetic analyses.

  20. Complete mitochondrial genome of the longfin mako shark, Isurus paucus (Chondrichthyes, Lamnidae).

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Hao; Chiang, Wei-Chuan; Lin, Yeong-Shin; Jang-Liaw, Nian-Hong; Shao, Kwang-Tsao

    2016-01-01

    Here we describe the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the longfin mako, Isurus paucus, which is a pelagic shark found in temperate and tropical waters. The circle genome (16,704 bp) consists of 13 protein coding, 22 tRNA, 2 rRNA genes and 1 control region. It has the typical vertebrate mitochondrial gene arrangement.

  1. The complete mitochondrial genome of the sand tiger shark, Carcharias taurus (Chondrichthyes, Odontaspididae).

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Hao; Jabado, Rima W; Lin, Yeong-Shin; Shao, Kwang-Tsao

    2015-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the sand tiger shark consists of 16,773 bp and including 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA, 22 transfer RNA genes, 1 replication origin region and 1 control region. The mitochondrial gene arrangement of the sand tiger shark is the same as the one observed in most vertebrates. Base composition of the genome is A (31.8%), T (28.7%), C (26.3%) and G (13.2%).

  2. The complete mitochondrial genome of the great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias (Chondrichthyes, Lamnidae).

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Hao; Shao, Kwang-Tsao; Lin, Yeong-Shin; Fang, Yi-Chiao; Ho, Hsuan-Ching

    2014-10-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the great white shark having 16,744 bp and including 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA, 22 transfer RNA genes, 1 replication origin region and 1 control region. The mitochondrial gene arrangement of the great white shark is the same as the one observed in the most vertebrates. Base composition of the genome is A (30.6%), T (28.7%), C (26.9%) and G (13.9%).

  3. The complete mitochondrial genome of the crocodile shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai (Chondrichthyes, Lamnidae).

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Hao; Shao, Kwang-Tsao; Lin, Yeong-Shin; Ho, Hsuan-Ching

    2016-05-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the crocodile shark consists of 16,688 bp and includes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 1 replication origin region, and 1 control region. The mitochondrial gene arrangement of the crocodile shark is the same as that of most vertebrates. Base composition of the genome is A (32.0%), T (31.0%), C (23.7%) and G (13.3%).

  4. Systematics and morphology of Potamotrygon orbignyi (Castelnau, 1855) and allied forms (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes: Potamotrygonidae).

    PubMed

    Silva, João Paulo C B Da; Carvalho, Marcelo R De

    2015-07-08

    The Neotropical freshwater stingray Potamotrygom orbignyi (Castelnau, 1855), and other similar "reticulated" species occurring in northern South American basins, were submitted to a thorough taxonomic analysis based on an extensive external and internal morphological study. The identity of P. orbignyi and the taxonomic status of the related nominal species Potamotrygon dumerilii (Castelnau, 1855), Potamotrygon reticulata (Günther, 1880), and Potamotrygon humerosa Garman, 1913, are defined. Taxonomic and morphological analyses revealed that P. reticulata and P. dumerilii fall within the range of variation found in P. orbignyi and were consequently treated as junior synonyms, corroborating previous works. The extensive variation in coloration observed in P. orbignyi could not be divided into consistent morphotypes; P. orbignyi is therefore a widespread species in the upper, mid and lower Amazonas basin, the Orinoco drainage, and in rivers of Suriname and the Guianas. Additionally, P. humerosa and Potamotrygon marinae Deynat, 2007 were found to present characters that support their validity, and are redescribed based on newly collected material. Potamotrygon humerosa occurs predominantly in the mid and lower Amazonas River and in lower reaches of many of its affluents, whereas P. marinae is known only from French Guiana and Suriname. Characters that proved valuable as diagnostic indicators, either in combination or as derived features, are primarily from coloration, dermal denticles and spines (morphology, development and distribution), meristic features (e.g. numbers of tooth rows, vertebrae and mesopterygial radials), morphometric proportions (e.g. snout length, tail width at base and length), and size at sexual maturity.

  5. Narcine baliensis, a new species of electric ray from southeast Asia (Chondrichthyes: Torpediniformes).

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Marcelo R De; White, William T

    2016-06-22

    A new species of numbfish, Narcine baliensis, sp. nov., is described from the tropical eastern Indian Ocean from Indonesia. It is superficially similar to N. brevilabiata and N. atzi in aspects of its color pattern, but is distinguished from both congeners in details of its color pattern, in tooth band morphology, and in proportions of its dorsal fins, among other features. Narcine baliensis, sp. nov., is unique in having a dorsal color pattern composed of large, circular, ovoid or elongate dark brown spots or blotches on dorsal disc along with more numerous small (about eye-sized or slightly greater) brownish, subcircular spots, with large blotches and small spots surrounded by a very slender creamy-white pattern, as well as in having broadly circular upper and lower tooth bands of about the same width and shape. The genus Narcine is now composed of 20 valid species, but uncertainty remains concerning the identification and morphological variation of some of its species in the tropical Indo-West Pacific region.

  6. The complete mitochondrial genome of the salmon shark, Lamna ditropis (Chondrichthyes, Lamnidae).

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Hao; Jang-Liaw, Nian-Hong; Lin, Yeong-Shin; Carlisle, Aaron; Hsu, Hua Hsun; Liao, Yun-Chih; Shao, Kwang-Tsao

    2016-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the salmon shark consists of 16,699 bp and includes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 1 replication origin region and 1 control region. The mitochondrial gene arrangement of the salmon shark is the same as that of most vertebrates. Base composition of the genome is A (29.6%), T (28.6%), C (27.1%), and G (14.8%).

  7. Pectoral fin morphology of batoid fishes (Chondrichthyes: Batoidea): explaining phylogenetic variation with geometric morphometrics.

    PubMed

    Franklin, Oliver; Palmer, Colin; Dyke, Gareth

    2014-10-01

    The diverse cartilaginous fish lineage, Batoidea (rays, skates, and allies), sister taxon to sharks, comprises a huge range of morphological diversity which to date remains unquantified and unexplained in terms of evolution or locomotor style. A recent molecular phylogeny has enabled us to confidently assess broadscale aspects of morphology across Batoidea. Geometric morphometrics quantifies the major aspects of shape variation, focusing on the enlarged pectoral fins which characterize batoids, to explore relationships between ancestry, locomotion and habitat. A database of 253 specimens, encompassing 60 of the 72 batoid genera, reveals that the majority of morphological variation across Batoidea is attributable to fin aspect-ratio and the chordwise location of fin apexes. Both aspect-ratio and apex location exhibit significant phylogenetic signal. Standardized independent linear contrast analysis reveals that fin aspect-ratio can predict locomotor style. This study provides the first evidence that low aspect-ratio fins are correlated with undulatory-style locomotion in batoids, whereas high aspect-ratio fins are correlated with oscillatory locomotion. We also show that it is phylogeny that determines locomotor style. In addition, body- and caudal fin-locomotors are shown to exhibit low aspect-ratio fins, whereas a pelagic lifestyle correlates with high aspect-ratio fins. These results emphasize the importance of phylogeny in determining batoid pectoral fin shape, however, interactions with other constraints, most notably locomotor style, are also highlighted as significant.

  8. Reproductive biology of the southern thorny skate Amblyraja doellojuradoi (Chondrichthyes, Rajidae).

    PubMed

    Delpiani, G

    2016-04-01

    The total lengths (L(T)) of 193 males (209-556 mm) and 130 females (275-515 mm) of Amblyraja doellojuradoi, a commercial by-catch species on the Argentinean continental shelf, which are increasingly retained, were analysed. No sexual dimorphism was observed in the L(T) at which 50% of individuals were sexually mature; males matured at 448 mm and females at 411 mm, c. 80 and 82% of maximum L(T). The hepato-somatic index was similar among sexes, but significantly different between maturity stages, being lower in mature than immature specimens. Males had no seasonal difference in the hepato-somatic index and females had the lowest index in autumn. The gonado-somatic index was lower in males than in females and significantly higher in mature than immature specimens of both sexes. Males had the highest index in autumn and females had no seasonal difference. Collectively, these results would indicate that A. doellojuradoi breeds in autumn.

  9. Reproductive biology of the stingrays, Myliobatis goodei and Myliobatis ridens (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatidae), in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Araújo, P R V; Oddone, M C; Velasco, G

    2016-07-01

    This study, carried out between spring 2012 and winter 2014, characterized the sexual development and reproductive cycle of Myliobatis goodei and Myliobatis ridens in the extreme south of Brazil to support future management and conservation plans. Ninety-five specimens of M. goodei (24 males and 71 females) and 175 M. ridens (24 males and 151 females) were sampled. Female M. goodei attained disc-width-at-50% maturity (WD50 ) at 683 mm. Uterine fecundity was four to five embryos. The largest male recorded, a mature individual, had a disc width of 650 mm. In M. ridens, WD50 was 662 mm. Uterine fecundity varied from one to eight embryos. The largest male on record was a maturing 590 mm WD individual. The hepato-somatic index was higher in autumn in females of M. goodei, and in the summer in M. ridens. The gonado-somatic index and the largest vitellogenic follicle diameter were higher in spring in both species. Pregnant females of both species were recorded during spring, although for M. ridens, these females also occurred in summer. Embryos had WD of 61-218 and 40-236 mm for M. goodei and M. ridens, respectively. The incidence of pregnant females in southern Brazil in spring-summer coincides with the small-scale beach artisanal fisheries season peak, when M. goodei and M. ridens suffer fishing mortality, while using the coastal shallow areas in the warmer periods (spring-summer) to give birth.

  10. The complete mitochondrial genome of the big-eye thresher shark, Alopias superciliosus (Chondrichthyes, Alopiidae).

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Hao; Shao, Kwang-Tsao; Lin, Yeong-Shin; Ho, Hsuan-Ching; Liao, Yun-Chih

    2014-08-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the big-eye thresher shark was sequenced using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method. The total length of mitochondrial DNA is 16,719 bp and includes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA, 22 transfer RNA genes, 1 replication origin region and 1 control region. The mitochondrial gene arrangement of the big-eye thresher shark is the same as the one observed in the most vertebrates. Base composition of the genome is A (31.8%), T (28.9%), C (25.8%) and G (13.5%).

  11. Scyliorhinus ugoi, a new species of catshark from Brazil (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae).

    PubMed

    Soares, Karla D A; Gadig, Otto F B; Gomes, Ulisses L

    2015-03-25

    A new species of catshark (Carcharhiniformes, Scyliorhinidae), Scyliorhinus ugoi sp. nov., is described from off Northeastern and Southeastern Brazil. The new species is closest to the Scyliorhinus haeckelii/besnardi group and S. hesperius but differs in background coloration, head width, sexual maturity, and in cranial and body proportions.

  12. Evolutionary origins and development of saw-teeth on the sawfish and sawshark rostrum (Elasmobranchii; Chondrichthyes).

    PubMed

    Welten, Monique; Smith, Moya Meredith; Underwood, Charlie; Johanson, Zerina

    2015-09-01

    A well-known characteristic of chondrichthyans (e.g. sharks, rays) is their covering of external skin denticles (placoid scales), but less well understood is the wide morphological diversity that these skin denticles can show. Some of the more unusual of these are the tooth-like structures associated with the elongate cartilaginous rostrum 'saw' in three chondrichthyan groups: Pristiophoridae (sawsharks; Selachii), Pristidae (sawfish; Batoidea) and the fossil Sclerorhynchoidea (Batoidea). Comparative topographic and developmental studies of the 'saw-teeth' were undertaken in adults and embryos of these groups, by means of three-dimensional-rendered volumes from X-ray computed tomography. This provided data on development and relative arrangement in embryos, with regenerative replacement in adults. Saw-teeth are morphologically similar on the rostra of the Pristiophoridae and the Sclerorhynchoidea, with the same replacement modes, despite the lack of a close phylogenetic relationship. In both, tooth-like structures develop under the skin of the embryos, aligned with the rostrum surface, before rotating into lateral position and then attaching through a pedicel to the rostrum cartilage. As well, saw-teeth are replaced and added to as space becomes available. By contrast, saw-teeth in Pristidae insert into sockets in the rostrum cartilage, growing continuously and are not replaced. Despite superficial similarity to oral tooth developmental organization, saw-tooth spatial initiation arrangement is associated with rostrum growth. Replacement is space-dependent and more comparable to that of dermal skin denticles. We suggest these saw-teeth represent modified dermal denticles and lack the 'many-for-one' replacement characteristic of elasmobranch oral dentitions.

  13. Tetronarce cowleyi, sp. nov., a new species of electric ray from southern Africa (Chondrichthyes: Torpediniformes: Torpedinidae).

    PubMed

    Ebert, David A; Haas, Diane L; De Carvalho, Marcelo R

    2015-03-19

    A new species of torpedo ray, Tetronarce cowleyi, sp. nov., is described from specimens collected from the southeastern Atlantic Ocean. The new species is placed in the genus Tetronarce based on a uniform dorsal coloration and absence of papillae around the spiracles. The new species is distinguished from its closest congeners, the North Atlantic Tetronarce nobiliana Bonnaparte, 1835, and southwestern Atlantic Tetronarce puelcha Lahille, 1926, by a combination of morphological characteristics including a shorter spiracular length, a proportionally greater head length as measured between snout margin and fifth gill openings, a proportionally greater preoral snout length, a uniform shiny black or dark gray dorsal surface, lacking any prominent markings, and a creamy white ventral color with dark edges in juveniles but fading with growth. Teteronarce cowleyi, sp. nov., is further distinguished from T. nobiliana by its more circular anterior disc shape (vs. relatively straight in T. nobiliana), fewer tooth rows (32/28 vs. 38-53/38-52 in T. nobiliana), greater mouth width (1.5-1.7 times as great as interorbital width vs. 0.5-0.6 times interorbital width in T. nobiliana), smaller distance between second dorsal and caudal fins (3.5-4.9% vs. 6.6-6.8% in T. nobiliana), and a clasper length extending nearly to lower caudal fin origin (claspers in T. nobiliana that extend only two-thirds distance between second dorsal and caudal fins). Teteronarce cowleyi, sp. nov., is known from Walvis Bay, Namibia to Algoa Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa, at depths of 110 to 457 m.

  14. The complete mitochondrial genome of the shortfin mako, Isurus oxyrinchus (Chondrichthyes, Lamnidae).

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Hao; Shao, Kwang-Tsao; Lin, Yeong-Shin; Tsai, An-Yi; Su, Pin-Xuan; Ho, Hsuan-Ching

    2015-06-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) was determined by using a PCR-based method. The total length of mitochondrial DNA is 16,701 bp and includes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA, 22 transfer RNA genes, 1 replication origin region, and 1 control region. The mitochondrial gene arrangement of the tiger tail seahorse is also matching the one observed in the most vertebrate creatures. Base composition of the genome is A (28.8%), T (28.0%), C (28.0%), and G (15.2%) with an A + T rich hallmark as that of other vertebrate mitochondrial genomes.

  15. Body plan convergence in the evolution of skates and rays (Chondrichthyes: Batoidea).

    PubMed

    Aschliman, Neil C; Nishida, Mutsumi; Miya, Masaki; Inoue, Jun G; Rosana, Kerri M; Naylor, Gavin J P

    2012-04-01

    Skates, rays and allies (Batoidea) comprise more than half of the species diversity and much of the morphological disparity among chondrichthyan fishes, the sister group to all other jawed vertebrates. While batoids are morphologically well characterized and have an excellent fossil record, there is currently no consensus on the interrelationships of family-level taxa. Here we construct a resolved, robust and time-calibrated batoid phylogeny using mitochondrial genomes, nuclear genes, and fossils, sampling densely across taxa. Data partitioning schemes, biases in the sequence data, and the relative informativeness of each fossil are explored. The molecular phylogeny is largely congruent with morphology crownward in the tree, but the branching orders of major batoid groups are mostly novel. Body plan convergence appears to be widespread in batoids. A depressed, rounded pectoral disk supported to the snout tip by fin radials, common to skates and stingrays, is indicated to have been derived independently by each group, while the long, spiny rostrum of sawfishes similarly appears to be convergent with that of sawsharks, which are not batoids. The major extant batoid lineages are inferred to have arisen relatively rapidly from the Late Triassic into the Jurassic, with long stems followed by subsequent radiations in each group around the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. The fossil record indicates that batoids were affected with disproportionate severity by the end-Cretaceous extinction event.

  16. Fossil Chondrichthyes from the central eastern Pacific Ocean and their paleoceanographic significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrillo-Briceño, Jorge D.; Aguilera, Orangel A.; Rodriguez, Félix

    2014-04-01

    The study of the chondrichthyan fauna from the Angostura, Onzole, Canoa and Jama formations, in the Neogene of Bordón and Manabí basins, Ecuador, reveals the presence of 30 taxa, including the deep water shark †Chlamydoselachus landinii sp. nov. The assemblages are dominated by tropical shallow and deep water chondrichthyans, suggesting paleoenvironments associated with a short platform shelf bordering a deep margin. These assemblages are the most diverse shark and ray association known from the Tropical Central Eastern Pacific Ocean in the South American coastal basin, and provide new information on the paleoecology and paleodiversity of Neogene chondrichthyans.

  17. Shark tales: a molecular species-level phylogeny of sharks (Selachimorpha, Chondrichthyes).

    PubMed

    Vélez-Zuazo, Ximena; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2011-02-01

    Sharks are a diverse and ecologically important group, including some of the ocean's largest predatory animals. Sharks are also commercially important, with many species suffering overexploitation and facing extinction. However, despite a long evolutionary history, commercial, and conservation importance, phylogenetic relationships within the sharks are poorly understood. To date, most studies have either focused on smaller clades within sharks, or sampled taxa sparsely across the group. A more detailed species-level phylogeny will offer further insights into shark taxonomy, provide a tool for comparative analyses, as well as facilitating phylogenetic estimates of conservation priorities. We used four mitochondrial and one nuclear gene to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of 229 species (all eight Orders and 31 families) of sharks, more than quadrupling the number of taxon sampled in any prior study. The resulting Bayesian phylogenetic hypothesis agrees with prior studies on the major relationships of the sharks phylogeny; however, on those relationships that have proven more controversial, it differs in several aspects from the most recent molecular studies. The phylogeny supports the division of sharks into two major groups, the Galeomorphii and Squalimorphii, rejecting the hypnosqualean hypothesis that places batoids within sharks. Within the squalimorphs the orders Hexanchiformes, Squatiniformes, Squaliformes, and Pristiophoriformes are broadly monophyletic, with minor exceptions apparently due to missing data. Similarly, within Galeomorphs, the orders Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes, Carcharhiniformes, and Orectolobiformes are broadly monophyletic, with a couple of species 'misplaced'. In contrast, many of the currently recognized shark families are not monophyletic according to our results. Our phylogeny offers some of the first clarification of the relationships among families of the order Squaliformes, a group that has thus far received relatively little phylogenetic attention. Our results suggest that the genus Echinorhinus is not a squaliform, but rather related to the saw sharks, a hypothesis that might be supported by both groups sharing 'spiny' snouts. In sum, our results offer the most detailed species-level phylogeny of sharks to date and a tool for comparative analyses.

  18. Chondrogenesis and homology of the visceral skeleton in the little skate, Leucoraja erinacea (Chondrichthyes: Batoidea).

    PubMed

    Gillis, J Andrew; Dahn, Randall D; Shubin, Neil H

    2009-05-01

    Chondrichthyan fishes possess visceral skeletons that differ considerably, morphologically, from those of their sister taxon, the osteichthyans. Here, we use histological techniques and whole-mount skeletal preparations to visualize and describe the sequence of visceral skeletal condensation and chondrogenesis in a chondrichthyan, the little skate (Leucoraja erinacea). We demonstrate that visceral skeletal condensation begins rostrally, with the mandibular arch, and progresses caudally with the hyoid arch and posterior branchial arches condensing soon after. We provide a detailed account of the condensation and chondrogenesis of all major components of the L. erinacea visceral skeleton and discuss these data in the context of what is known from classical descriptions of chondrichthyan visceral skeletal development. Significant differences exist between the hypobranchial and basibranchial skeleton of L. erinacea and other chondrichthyan species, and the possible evolutionary and developmental significance of this is considered. We discuss the homology of the chondrichthyan hyoid arch and, based on patterns of mesenchymal condensation, we propose a model of condensation splitting and diversification that may account for the morphological diversification of gnathostome branchial arch derivatives. Finally, we suggest that the unique presence of certain visceral skeletal elements in chondrichthyans make oviparous chondrichthyans an ideal system for addressing questions of endoskeletal axial patterning during development.

  19. Systematics and morphology of Potamotrygon orbignyi (Castelnau, 1855) and allied forms (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes: Potamotrygonidae).

    PubMed

    Silva, João Paulo C B Da; Carvalho, Marcelo R De

    2015-01-01

    The Neotropical freshwater stingray Potamotrygom orbignyi (Castelnau, 1855), and other similar "reticulated" species occurring in northern South American basins, were submitted to a thorough taxonomic analysis based on an extensive external and internal morphological study. The identity of P. orbignyi and the taxonomic status of the related nominal species Potamotrygon dumerilii (Castelnau, 1855), Potamotrygon reticulata (Günther, 1880), and Potamotrygon humerosa Garman, 1913, are defined. Taxonomic and morphological analyses revealed that P. reticulata and P. dumerilii fall within the range of variation found in P. orbignyi and were consequently treated as junior synonyms, corroborating previous works. The extensive variation in coloration observed in P. orbignyi could not be divided into consistent morphotypes; P. orbignyi is therefore a widespread species in the upper, mid and lower Amazonas basin, the Orinoco drainage, and in rivers of Suriname and the Guianas. Additionally, P. humerosa and Potamotrygon marinae Deynat, 2007 were found to present characters that support their validity, and are redescribed based on newly collected material. Potamotrygon humerosa occurs predominantly in the mid and lower Amazonas River and in lower reaches of many of its affluents, whereas P. marinae is known only from French Guiana and Suriname. Characters that proved valuable as diagnostic indicators, either in combination or as derived features, are primarily from coloration, dermal denticles and spines (morphology, development and distribution), meristic features (e.g. numbers of tooth rows, vertebrae and mesopterygial radials), morphometric proportions (e.g. snout length, tail width at base and length), and size at sexual maturity. PMID:26250018

  20. Redescription of Hexanchus nakamurai Teng 1962, (Chondrichthyes: Hexanchiformes: Hexanchidae), with designation of a neotype.

    PubMed

    Ebert, David A; White, William T; Ho, Hsuan-Ching

    2013-01-01

    Hexanchus nakamurai Teng, 1962 is one of two valid nominal species in the genus Hexanchus; the other being H. griseus. The taxonomic history of H. nakamurai is somewhat convoluted due to questions about the validity of whether it constituted a publication or an unpublished dissertation. The issue appeared to have been resolved once it was determined that the Teng's original description met the criteria under the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature code (Article 8a) of a publication. However, recent molecular studies have indicated that the western North Atlantic H. nakamurai (= ? H. vitulus) may be distinct from western Indian Ocean H. nakamurai. Compounding the issue is the loss of the holotype of H. nakamurai from Taiwan. A neotype is herein designated and the species redescribed based on the neotype and eight additional Taiwanese specimens.

  1. Morphological and taxonomic revision of species of Squatina from the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean (Chondrichthyes: Squatiniformes: Squatinidae).

    PubMed

    Vaz, Diego F B; De Carvalho, Marcelo R

    2013-01-01

    The morphology and taxonomy of species of Squatina from the southwestern Atlantic Ocean are revised. Species previously considered valid, Squatina argentina (Marini, 1930), Squatina guggenheim Marini, 1936 and Squatina occulta Vooren and da Silva, 1991, are investigated and described in detail, including a morphometric and meristic study of specimens from their recorded range. The taxonomic status of the doubtful nominal species Squatina punctata Marini, 1936 was also evaluated. This species was previously considered a junior synonym of S. argentina, a junior synonym of S. guggenheim, or a senior synonym of S. occulta. Although there is much morphological similarity between Squatina species, significant differences in dermal denticle patterns, dorsal coloration, tooth formula, and size at maturity are reported, enabling the recognition of S. argentina, S. guggenheim and S. occulta as valid species, and relegating S. punctata to the synonymy of S. guggenheim. Differences in skeletal morphology between valid species are described and considered supportive of the taxonomic hypothesis, corroborating a previous study of neurocrania. Additionally, an unidentified specimen is reported, as Squatina sp., from the continental shelf of Bahia state, Brazil, recognized by having more vertebral centra and a conspicuous dermal denticle morphology on interspiracular region, features not present in other South America angelshark species. A report on the only known syntype of Squatina dumeril Le Sueur, 1818 is presented, describing features that are still preserved and designating it as lectotype. Lateral-line sensory canals, skeleton, and cranial and hypobranchial muscles for the three valid species of Squatina from the southwestern Atlantic, as well as the brain and cranial nerves of S. guggenheim, are described and illustrated.

  2. Reproductive biology of the southern thorny skate Amblyraja doellojuradoi (Chondrichthyes, Rajidae).

    PubMed

    Delpiani, G

    2016-04-01

    The total lengths (L(T)) of 193 males (209-556 mm) and 130 females (275-515 mm) of Amblyraja doellojuradoi, a commercial by-catch species on the Argentinean continental shelf, which are increasingly retained, were analysed. No sexual dimorphism was observed in the L(T) at which 50% of individuals were sexually mature; males matured at 448 mm and females at 411 mm, c. 80 and 82% of maximum L(T). The hepato-somatic index was similar among sexes, but significantly different between maturity stages, being lower in mature than immature specimens. Males had no seasonal difference in the hepato-somatic index and females had the lowest index in autumn. The gonado-somatic index was lower in males than in females and significantly higher in mature than immature specimens of both sexes. Males had the highest index in autumn and females had no seasonal difference. Collectively, these results would indicate that A. doellojuradoi breeds in autumn. PMID:26923668

  3. Development and evolution of dentition pattern and tooth order in the skates and rays (batoidea; chondrichthyes).

    PubMed

    Underwood, Charlie J; Johanson, Zerina; Welten, Monique; Metscher, Brian; Rasch, Liam J; Fraser, Gareth J; Smith, Moya Meredith

    2015-01-01

    Shark and ray (elasmobranch) dentitions are well known for their multiple generations of teeth, with isolated teeth being common in the fossil record. However, how the diverse dentitions characteristic of elasmobranchs form is still poorly understood. Data on the development and maintenance of the dental patterning in this major vertebrate group will allow comparisons to other morphologically diverse taxa, including the bony fishes, in order to identify shared pattern characters for the vertebrate dentition as a whole. Data is especially lacking from the Batoidea (skates and rays), hence our objective is to compile data on embryonic and adult batoid tooth development contributing to ordering of the dentition, from cleared and stained specimens and micro-CT scans, with 3D rendered models. We selected species (adult and embryonic) spanning phylogenetically significant batoid clades, such that our observations may raise questions about relationships within the batoids, particularly with respect to current molecular-based analyses. We include developmental data from embryos of recent model organisms Leucoraja erinacea and Raja clavata to evaluate the earliest establishment of the dentition. Characters of the batoid dentition investigated include alternate addition of teeth as offset successional tooth rows (versus single separate files), presence of a symphyseal initiator region (symphyseal tooth present, or absent, but with two parasymphyseal teeth) and a restriction to tooth addition along each jaw reducing the number of tooth families, relative to addition of successor teeth within each family. Our ultimate aim is to understand the shared characters of the batoids, and whether or not these dental characters are shared more broadly within elasmobranchs, by comparing these to dentitions in shark outgroups. These developmental morphological analyses will provide a solid basis to better understand dental evolution in these important vertebrate groups as well as the general plesiomorphic vertebrate dental condition. PMID:25874547

  4. Shark tales: a molecular species-level phylogeny of sharks (Selachimorpha, Chondrichthyes).

    PubMed

    Vélez-Zuazo, Ximena; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2011-02-01

    Sharks are a diverse and ecologically important group, including some of the ocean's largest predatory animals. Sharks are also commercially important, with many species suffering overexploitation and facing extinction. However, despite a long evolutionary history, commercial, and conservation importance, phylogenetic relationships within the sharks are poorly understood. To date, most studies have either focused on smaller clades within sharks, or sampled taxa sparsely across the group. A more detailed species-level phylogeny will offer further insights into shark taxonomy, provide a tool for comparative analyses, as well as facilitating phylogenetic estimates of conservation priorities. We used four mitochondrial and one nuclear gene to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of 229 species (all eight Orders and 31 families) of sharks, more than quadrupling the number of taxon sampled in any prior study. The resulting Bayesian phylogenetic hypothesis agrees with prior studies on the major relationships of the sharks phylogeny; however, on those relationships that have proven more controversial, it differs in several aspects from the most recent molecular studies. The phylogeny supports the division of sharks into two major groups, the Galeomorphii and Squalimorphii, rejecting the hypnosqualean hypothesis that places batoids within sharks. Within the squalimorphs the orders Hexanchiformes, Squatiniformes, Squaliformes, and Pristiophoriformes are broadly monophyletic, with minor exceptions apparently due to missing data. Similarly, within Galeomorphs, the orders Heterodontiformes, Lamniformes, Carcharhiniformes, and Orectolobiformes are broadly monophyletic, with a couple of species 'misplaced'. In contrast, many of the currently recognized shark families are not monophyletic according to our results. Our phylogeny offers some of the first clarification of the relationships among families of the order Squaliformes, a group that has thus far received relatively little phylogenetic attention. Our results suggest that the genus Echinorhinus is not a squaliform, but rather related to the saw sharks, a hypothesis that might be supported by both groups sharing 'spiny' snouts. In sum, our results offer the most detailed species-level phylogeny of sharks to date and a tool for comparative analyses. PMID:21129490

  5. Development and evolution of dentition pattern and tooth order in the skates and rays (batoidea; chondrichthyes).

    PubMed

    Underwood, Charlie J; Johanson, Zerina; Welten, Monique; Metscher, Brian; Rasch, Liam J; Fraser, Gareth J; Smith, Moya Meredith

    2015-01-01

    Shark and ray (elasmobranch) dentitions are well known for their multiple generations of teeth, with isolated teeth being common in the fossil record. However, how the diverse dentitions characteristic of elasmobranchs form is still poorly understood. Data on the development and maintenance of the dental patterning in this major vertebrate group will allow comparisons to other morphologically diverse taxa, including the bony fishes, in order to identify shared pattern characters for the vertebrate dentition as a whole. Data is especially lacking from the Batoidea (skates and rays), hence our objective is to compile data on embryonic and adult batoid tooth development contributing to ordering of the dentition, from cleared and stained specimens and micro-CT scans, with 3D rendered models. We selected species (adult and embryonic) spanning phylogenetically significant batoid clades, such that our observations may raise questions about relationships within the batoids, particularly with respect to current molecular-based analyses. We include developmental data from embryos of recent model organisms Leucoraja erinacea and Raja clavata to evaluate the earliest establishment of the dentition. Characters of the batoid dentition investigated include alternate addition of teeth as offset successional tooth rows (versus single separate files), presence of a symphyseal initiator region (symphyseal tooth present, or absent, but with two parasymphyseal teeth) and a restriction to tooth addition along each jaw reducing the number of tooth families, relative to addition of successor teeth within each family. Our ultimate aim is to understand the shared characters of the batoids, and whether or not these dental characters are shared more broadly within elasmobranchs, by comparing these to dentitions in shark outgroups. These developmental morphological analyses will provide a solid basis to better understand dental evolution in these important vertebrate groups as well as the general plesiomorphic vertebrate dental condition.

  6. Narcine baliensis, a new species of electric ray from southeast Asia (Chondrichthyes: Torpediniformes).

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Marcelo R De; White, William T

    2016-01-01

    A new species of numbfish, Narcine baliensis, sp. nov., is described from the tropical eastern Indian Ocean from Indonesia. It is superficially similar to N. brevilabiata and N. atzi in aspects of its color pattern, but is distinguished from both congeners in details of its color pattern, in tooth band morphology, and in proportions of its dorsal fins, among other features. Narcine baliensis, sp. nov., is unique in having a dorsal color pattern composed of large, circular, ovoid or elongate dark brown spots or blotches on dorsal disc along with more numerous small (about eye-sized or slightly greater) brownish, subcircular spots, with large blotches and small spots surrounded by a very slender creamy-white pattern, as well as in having broadly circular upper and lower tooth bands of about the same width and shape. The genus Narcine is now composed of 20 valid species, but uncertainty remains concerning the identification and morphological variation of some of its species in the tropical Indo-West Pacific region. PMID:27395617

  7. The neuroecology of cartilaginous fishes: sensory strategies for survival.

    PubMed

    Collin, Shaun P

    2012-01-01

    As apex predators, chondrichthyans, or cartilaginous fishes, hold an important position within a range of aquatic ecosystems and influence the balance between species' abundance and biodiversity. Having been in existence for over 400 million years and representing the earliest stages of the evolution of jawed vertebrates, this group also covers a diverse range of eco-morphotypes, occupying both marine and freshwater habitats. The class Chondrichthyes is divided into two subclasses: the Elasmobranchii (sharks, skates, and rays) and the Holocephali (elephant sharks and chimaeras). However, many of their life history traits, such as low fecundity, the production of small numbers of highly precocious young, slow growth rates, and late maturity, make them highly susceptible to human exploitation. To mitigate the negative effects of human impacts, it is important that we understand the sensory strategies that elasmobranchs use for navigating within their environment, forming reproductive aggregations, feeding, and even communicating. One approach to investigate the sensory bases of their behavior is to examine the peripheral sense organs mediating vision, olfaction, gustation, lateral line, electroreception, and audition in a large range of species in order to identify specific adaptations, the range of sensitivity thresholds, and the compromise between sensory spatial resolution and sensitivity. In addition, we can quantitatively assess the convergence of sensory input to the central nervous system and the relative importance of different sensory modalities. Using a comparative approach and often a combination of anatomical, electrophysiological, and molecular techniques, significant variation has been identified in the spatial and chromatic sampling of the photoreceptors in the eye, the surface area and the number of olfactory lamellae within the nasal cavity, the level of gustatory sampling within the oral cavity, the type and innervation of neuromasts of the lateral

  8. The neuroecology of cartilaginous fishes: sensory strategies for survival.

    PubMed

    Collin, Shaun P

    2012-01-01

    As apex predators, chondrichthyans, or cartilaginous fishes, hold an important position within a range of aquatic ecosystems and influence the balance between species' abundance and biodiversity. Having been in existence for over 400 million years and representing the earliest stages of the evolution of jawed vertebrates, this group also covers a diverse range of eco-morphotypes, occupying both marine and freshwater habitats. The class Chondrichthyes is divided into two subclasses: the Elasmobranchii (sharks, skates, and rays) and the Holocephali (elephant sharks and chimaeras). However, many of their life history traits, such as low fecundity, the production of small numbers of highly precocious young, slow growth rates, and late maturity, make them highly susceptible to human exploitation. To mitigate the negative effects of human impacts, it is important that we understand the sensory strategies that elasmobranchs use for navigating within their environment, forming reproductive aggregations, feeding, and even communicating. One approach to investigate the sensory bases of their behavior is to examine the peripheral sense organs mediating vision, olfaction, gustation, lateral line, electroreception, and audition in a large range of species in order to identify specific adaptations, the range of sensitivity thresholds, and the compromise between sensory spatial resolution and sensitivity. In addition, we can quantitatively assess the convergence of sensory input to the central nervous system and the relative importance of different sensory modalities. Using a comparative approach and often a combination of anatomical, electrophysiological, and molecular techniques, significant variation has been identified in the spatial and chromatic sampling of the photoreceptors in the eye, the surface area and the number of olfactory lamellae within the nasal cavity, the level of gustatory sampling within the oral cavity, the type and innervation of neuromasts of the lateral

  9. Systemic rhabdomyolysis induced by venom of freshwater stingrays Plesiotrygon iwamae and Potamotrygon motoro (Chondrichthyes-Potamotrygonidae) from the Amazon Basin.

    PubMed

    Lameiras, Juliana Luiza Varjão; da Costa, Oscar Tadeu Ferreira; Moroni, Fábio Tonissi; Araújo, José de Ribamar; Caranhas, Sandra Maria Evangelista; Marques, Carlos Melquiades Almeida; Dos-Santos, Maria Cristina; Duncan, Wallice Luiz Paxiúba

    2014-01-01

    Injuries caused by freshwater stingrays are characterized by intense pain and pathological changes at the lesion site, including oedema, erythema and, in most cases, necrosis. In this study, the systemic myotoxic activity induced by mucus extracts from the dorsal region and stinger of the stingrays Plesiotrygon iwamae and Potamotrygon motoro was described, analysed and quantified. Twenty-four hours after injection of 400 μg of the extracts into the gastrocnemius muscle of mice, the following effects were observed: coagulative necrosis of the muscle tissue, muscle fibre regeneration and the presence of inflammatory infiltrates, including neutrophils, macrophages, and a reduced number of eosinophils and lymphocytes. These changes were also observed, although to a lesser extent, in the gastrocnemius muscles of the contralateral limbs, demonstrating that the extracts from the two species could induce systemic rhabdomyolysis. Based on morphometric analysis, it was observed that the stinger extract of P. motoro was more potent in inducing local and systemic myotoxic activity, followed by the dorsal extract from P. motoro and stinger and dorsal extracts from P. iwamae, which induced similar effects. PMID:24211759

  10. Diet of the freshwater stingray Potamotrygon motoro (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae) on Marajó Island (Pará, Brazil).

    PubMed

    Almeida, M P; Lins, P M O; Charvet-Almeida, P; Barthem, R B

    2010-02-01

    The stomach contents of 137 examples of Potamotrygon motoro caught in 3 locations (Muaná, Afuá and Lake Arari) on Marajó Island were analysed. The values of the Index of Relative Importance (IRI) and its respective percentage (%IRI) were calculated. The level of repletion 1 (1/4 full) was the most representative for both sexes, as well as for immature and mature specimens. Most of the food items found were well-digested. The food items identification indicated the presence of 15 orders, including insects, mollusks, crustaceans, annelids and fish. Differences in diet were observed among the locations studied when comparing %IRI, crustaceans being the most preferred in Afuá, fish in Lake Arari and mollusks in Muaná. PMID:20231973

  11. Insectivory in Potamotrygon signata (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae), an endemic freshwater stingray from the Parnaíba River basin, northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Moro, G; Charvet, P; Rosa, R S

    2012-11-01

    Potamotrygon signata is an endemic freshwater stingray species in the Parnaíba River basin, Brazil. After its original description, only citations in systematic lists were recorded in the literature and the biology of the species remains unknown, including the feeding habits. The aim of this study is to characterize the overall diet of P. signata based on analysing stomach contents and to provide preliminary information on intraspecific diet variability between sexes and maturity stages. The stomach contents of 56 specimens of P. signata were analyzed. The taxonomic identification of food items showed the presence of 13 prey orders, including insects, mollusks, crustaceans and teleost fish. The Index of Relative Importance (IRI%) indicated P. signata as an insectivorous species, with a dominance of Diptera larvae (60.64%) and Ephemeroptera nymphs (34.68%). Differences in diet were observed between sexes, as well as between mature and immature individuals. The IRI% of females showed a similar occurrence of Diptera and Ephemeroptera (47.12% and 47.86%, respectively), whereas for males, Ephemeroptera was the main item (79.56%). Immature individuals showed a dominance of Diptera (76.20%) while mature individuals showed a similar occurrence of Diptera (46.95%) and Ephemeroptera (47.23%). The observed sexual and ontogenetic differences in diet may be related to distinct nutritional requirements of males and females, and to the variation of morphological aspects of the oral apparatus and dentition of males and females and of immature individuals and adults. The essentially insectivorous diet of the species is possibly adaptively advantageous in the Caatinga semi-arid environment, where the availability of fish as prey may be subject to strong seasonal variation. PMID:23295518

  12. Taxonomy and morphology of species of the genus Squalus Linnaeus, 1758 from the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean (Chondrichthyes: Squaliformes: Squalidae).

    PubMed

    Viana, Sarah T De F; Carvalho, Marcelo R De; Gomes, Ulisses L

    2016-07-04

    Squalus is a genus of reportedly cosmopolitan shark species that have a high taxonomic complexity due to difficulties in their morphological differentiation; many of its species need revision. Currently, there are 26 valid species of Squalus, which have been divided into three species-groups according to overall morphological similarity, the S. acanthias, S. megalops, and S. mitsukurii groups. Loss of type specimens, propagation of erroneous identifications in the literature, and difficulties in obtaining representative series for comparison are secondary challenges that have impeded a global taxonomic revision of the genus. This problem applies clearly to species from the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean, including species that occur off Brazil. Following a current global tendency, a regional taxonomic revision of Squalus was conducted in order to investigate which species are valid in the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean and provide diagnostic morphological characters that can be efficiently used for identifying species. Comparative detailed analysis of external (e.g. morphometrics, dentition, and color pattern) and skeletal morphology (primarily meristic data, neurocrania and claspers) of specimens of Squalus from the region revealed four new species that are herein described (S. albicaudus sp. nov., S. bahiensis sp. nov., S. lobularis sp. nov., and S. quasimodo sp. nov.), as well as S. acanthias, which is redescribed from the region based on new material. Comparisons are offered based on examinations of congeneric species; this work is part of a global systematic revision of Squalus.

  13. Potamotrygon limai, sp. nov., a new species of freshwater stingray from the upper Madeira River system, Amazon basin (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae).

    PubMed

    Fontenelle, João Pedro; Da Silva, João Paulo C B; De Carvalho, Marcelo R

    2014-02-18

    Potamotrygon limai, sp. nov., is described from the Jamari River, upper Madeira River system (Amazon basin), state of Rondônia, Brazil. This new species differs from congeners by presenting unique polygonal or concentric patterns formed by small whitish spots better defined over the posterior disc and tail-base regions. Potamotrygon limai, sp. nov., can be further distinguished from congeners in the same basin by other characters in combination, such as two to three rows of midtail spines converging to a single irregular row at level of caudal sting origin, proportions of head, tail and disc, patterns of dermal denticles on rostral, cranial and tail regions, among other features discussed herein. Potamotrygon limai, sp. nov., is most similar to, and occurs sympatrically with, P. scobina, and is distinguished from it by lacking ocellated spots on disc, by its characteristic polygonal pattern on posterior disc, a comparatively much shorter and broader tail, greater intensity of denticles on disc, more midtail spine rows at tail-base, and other features including size at maturity and meristic characters. Potamotrygon limai, sp. nov., is also distinguished from other species of Potamotrygon occurring in the Amazon region, except P. scobina, by presenting three angular cartilages (vs. two or one). This new species was discovered during a detailed taxonomic and morphological revision of the closely related species P. scobina, and highlights the necessity for thorough and all-embracing taxonomic studies, particularly in groups with pronounced endemism and morphological variability.

  14. Observations on the biological traits of the rare shark Oxynotus centrina (Chondrichthyes: Oxynotidae) in the Hellenic Seas.

    PubMed

    Kousteni, V; Megalofonou, P

    2016-09-01

    New records of the rare angular rough shark Oxynotus centrina from the Hellenic Seas are presented. Its occurrence is reported for the first time in the Corinthian Gulf. Some aspects of the species' biology are described and compared with previous studies. PMID:27460546

  15. A new Xenacanthiformes shark (Chondrichthyes, Elasmobranchii) from the Late Paleozoic Rio do Rasto Formation (Paraná Basin), Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pauliv, Victor E; Dias, Eliseu V; Sedor, Fernando A; Ribeiro, Ana Maria

    2014-03-01

    The Brazilian records on Xenacanthiformes include teeth and cephalic spines from the Parnaíba, Amazonas and Paraná basins. This work describes a new species of Xenacanthidae, collected in an outcrop of Serrinha Member of Rio do Rasto Formation (Wordian to Wuchiapingian), Paraná Basin, municipality of Jacarezinho, State of Paraná. The teeth of the new species are two or three-cuspidated and the aboral surface show a smooth concavity and one rounded basal tubercle. The coronal surface presents one semi-spherical and subcircular coronal button, and also two lateral main cusps and one central (when present) with less than one fifth of the size of the lateral cusps in the labial portion. The lateral cusps are asymmetric or symmetric, rounded in transversal section, lanceolate in longitudinal section, devoid of lateral carinae and lateral serrations, and with few smooth cristae of enameloid. In optical microscope the teeth show a trabecular dentine (osteodentine) base, while the cusps are composed by orthodentine, and the pulp cavities are non-obliterated by trabecular dentine. The fossil assemblage in the same stratigraphical level and in the whole Rio do Rasto Formation indicates another freshwater record for xenacanthid sharks.

  16. Systemic rhabdomyolysis induced by venom of freshwater stingrays Plesiotrygon iwamae and Potamotrygon motoro (Chondrichthyes-Potamotrygonidae) from the Amazon Basin.

    PubMed

    Lameiras, Juliana Luiza Varjão; da Costa, Oscar Tadeu Ferreira; Moroni, Fábio Tonissi; Araújo, José de Ribamar; Caranhas, Sandra Maria Evangelista; Marques, Carlos Melquiades Almeida; Dos-Santos, Maria Cristina; Duncan, Wallice Luiz Paxiúba

    2014-01-01

    Injuries caused by freshwater stingrays are characterized by intense pain and pathological changes at the lesion site, including oedema, erythema and, in most cases, necrosis. In this study, the systemic myotoxic activity induced by mucus extracts from the dorsal region and stinger of the stingrays Plesiotrygon iwamae and Potamotrygon motoro was described, analysed and quantified. Twenty-four hours after injection of 400 μg of the extracts into the gastrocnemius muscle of mice, the following effects were observed: coagulative necrosis of the muscle tissue, muscle fibre regeneration and the presence of inflammatory infiltrates, including neutrophils, macrophages, and a reduced number of eosinophils and lymphocytes. These changes were also observed, although to a lesser extent, in the gastrocnemius muscles of the contralateral limbs, demonstrating that the extracts from the two species could induce systemic rhabdomyolysis. Based on morphometric analysis, it was observed that the stinger extract of P. motoro was more potent in inducing local and systemic myotoxic activity, followed by the dorsal extract from P. motoro and stinger and dorsal extracts from P. iwamae, which induced similar effects.

  17. Apristurus breviventralis, a new species of deep-water catshark (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae) from the Gulf of Aden.

    PubMed

    Kawauchi, Junro; Weigmann, Simon; Nakaya, Kazuhiro

    2014-11-03

    A new deep-water catshark of the genus Apristurus Garman, 1913 is described based on nine specimens from the Gulf of Aden in the northwestern Indian Ocean. Apristurus breviventralis sp. nov. belongs to the 'brunneus group' of the genus and is characterized by having pectoral-fin tips reaching beyond the midpoint between the paired fin bases, a much shorter pectoral-pelvic space than the anal-fin base, a low and long-based anal fin, and a first dorsal fin located behind pelvic-fin insertion. The new species most closely resembles the western Atlantic species Apristurus canutus, but is distinguishable in having greater nostril length than internarial width and longer claspers in adult males. Apristurus breviventralis sp. nov. represents the sixth species of Apristurus from the western Indian Ocean and the 38th species globally. 

  18. Annotated checklist of the living sharks, batoids and chimaeras (Chondrichthyes) of the world, with a focus on biogeographical diversity.

    PubMed

    Weigmann, S

    2016-03-01

    An annotated checklist of the chondrichthyan fishes (sharks, batoids and chimaeras) of the world is presented. As of 7 November 2015, the number of species totals 1188, comprising 16 orders, 61 families and 199 genera. The checklist includes nine orders, 34 families, 105 genera and 509 species of sharks; six orders, 24 families, 88 genera and 630 species of batoids (skates and rays); one order, three families, six genera and 49 species of holocephalans (chimaeras). The most speciose shark orders are the Carcharhiniformes with 284 species, followed by the Squaliformes with 119. The most species-rich batoid orders are the Rajiformes with 285 species and the Myliobatiformes with 210. This checklist represents the first global checklist of chondrichthyans to include information on maximum size, geographic and depth distributions, as well as comments on taxonomically problematic species and recent and regularly overlooked synonymizations. Furthermore, a detailed analysis of the biogeographical diversity of the species across 10 major areas of occurrence is given, including updated figures for previously published hotspots of chondrichthyan biodiversity, providing the detailed numbers of chondrichthyan species per major area, and revealing centres of distribution for several taxa.

  19. Taxonomic review of catsharks of the Scyliorhinus haeckelii group, with the description of a new species (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae).

    PubMed

    Soares, Karla D A; Gomes, Ulisses L; Carvalho, Marcelo R De

    2016-01-19

    Sharks of the genus Scyliorhinus from the southwestern Atlantic are reviewed; identification problems and taxonomic misinformation given in the literature are rectified. After extensive examination of the external and internal morphology of specimens collected mostly off southeastern and southern Brazil, Scyliorhinus besnardi Springer & Sadowsky, 1970 is placed in the synonymy of S. haeckelii (Miranda Ribeiro, 1907), which is thoroughly redescribed. Additionally, a new species, Scyliorhinus cabofriensis, sp. nov., is described from the state of Rio de Janeiro, distinguished from all southwestern Atlantic congeners by its color pattern, clasper and neurocranial morphology, and proportional measurements. A key to Scyliorhinus species occurring in the southwestern Atlantic is also provided.

  20. A revised classification of the family Dasyatidae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes) based on new morphological and molecular insights.

    PubMed

    Last, Peter R; Naylor, Gavin J P; Manjaji-Matsumoto, B Mabel

    2016-07-21

    The higher-level taxonomy of the stingrays (Dasyatidae) has never been comprehensively reviewed. Recent phylogenetic studies, supported by morphological data, have provided evidence that the group is monophyletic and consists of four major subgroups, the subfamilies Dasyatinae, Neotrygoninae, Urogymninae and Hypolophinae. A morphologically based review of 89 currently recognised species, undertaken for a guide to the world's rays, indicated that most of the currently recognised dasyatid genera are not monophyletic groups. These findings were supported by molecular analyses using the NADH2 gene for about 77 of these species, and this topology is supported by preliminary analyses base on whole mitochondrial genome comparisons. These molecular analyses, based on data generated from the Chondrichthyan Tree of Life project, are the most taxon-rich data available for this family. Material from all of the presently recognised genera (Dasyatis, Pteroplatytrygon and Taeniurops [Dasyatinae]; Neotrygon and Taeniura [Neotrygoninae]; Himantura and Urogymnus [Urogymninae]; and Makararaja and Pastinachus [Hypolophinae]), are included and their validity largely supported. Urogymnus and the two most species rich genera, Dasyatis and Himantura, are not considered to be monophyletic and were redefined based on external morphology. Seven new genus-level taxa are erected (Megatrygon and Telatrygon [Dasyatinae]; Brevitrygon, Fluvitrygon, Fontitrygon, Maculabatis and Pateobatis [Urogymninae], and an additional three (Bathytoshia, Hemitrygon and Hypanus [Dasyatinae]) are resurrected from the synonymy of Dasyatis. The monotypic genus Megatrygon clustered with 'amphi-American Himantura' outside the Dasyatidae, and instead as the sister group of the Potamotrygonidae and Urotrygonidae. Megatrygon is provisionally retained in the Dasyatinae pending further investigation of its internal anatomy. The morphologically divergent groups, Bathytoshia and Pteroplatytrygon, possibly form a single monophyletic group so further investigation is needed to confirm the validity of Pteroplatytrygon. A reclassification of the family Dasyatidae is provided and the above taxa are defined based on new morphological data.

  1. Redescription of Paraleptus chiloscyllii Yin et Zhang, 1983 (Nematoda: Physalopteridae) from the Arabian carpetshark Chiloscyllium arabicum (Chondrichthyes: Hemiscylliidae) off Iraq.

    PubMed

    González-Solís, David; Ali, Atheer H

    2015-12-01

    The nematode Paraleptus chiloscyllii Yin et Zhang, 1983 (Physalopteridae) is redescribed on the basis of new material collected from the stomach of the Arabian carpetshark Chiloscyllium arabicum Gubanov (Hemiscylliidae) from marine waters off Iraq. Originally, P. chiloscyllii was found in C. plagiosum (Anonymous [Bennett]) from Fujian, China, but its description was rather poor and some important morphological features, such as deirids, shape and number of structures surrounding mouth, ventral unpaired papilla on the anterior cloacal lip, among others, were overlooked. It differs from its congeners in the shape of spicules and body length, although is very similar to the type species, P. scyllii Wu, 1927, only differing in the inequality of spicules. The generic diagnosis of Paraleptus was amended. Paraleptus minnanensis (Damin et Heqing, 2001) is considered a junior synonym of P. chiloscyllii and some morphological details of the posterior end of a male of P. australis Johnston et Mawson, 1943 are provided. The present finding of P. chiloscyllii in C. arabicum from off Iraq represents new host and geographical records.

  2. Observations on the biological traits of the rare shark Oxynotus centrina (Chondrichthyes: Oxynotidae) in the Hellenic Seas.

    PubMed

    Kousteni, V; Megalofonou, P

    2016-09-01

    New records of the rare angular rough shark Oxynotus centrina from the Hellenic Seas are presented. Its occurrence is reported for the first time in the Corinthian Gulf. Some aspects of the species' biology are described and compared with previous studies.

  3. DNA barcoding unveils skate (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae) species diversity in ‘ray’ products sold across Ireland and the UK

    PubMed Central

    Egan, Aaron; Fox, Jennifer; Greenfield, Adam; Mariani, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    Skates are widely consumed across the globe, but many large species are subject to considerable concern regarding their conservation and management. Within Europe such issues have recently driven policy changes so that, for the first time, reports of skate landings now have to be made under species-specific names. Total allowable catches have also been established for many groups, which have been set to zero for a number of the most vulnerable species (e.g., Dipturus batis, Raja undulata and Rostoraja alba). Whilst accurate species identification has become an important issue for landings, the sale of skates is still usually made under a blanket term of “skate” or “ray”. The matter of identifying species of skate is further complicated by their morphologically conservative nature and the fact that they are commercially valued for their wings. Thus, before sale their bodies are usually discarded (i.e., “winged”) and often skinned, making morphological identification impossible. For the first time, DNA barcoding (of the mitochondrial COI gene) was applied to samples of skate wings from retail outlets across the British Isles, providing insight into which species are sold for consumption. A total of 98 wing samples were analysed, revealing that six species were sold; blonde ray (Raja brachyura), spotted ray (Raja montagui), thornback ray (Raja clavata), cuckoo ray (Leucoraja naevus) small-eyed ray (Raja microocellata) and shagreen ray (Leucoraja fullonica). Statistical testing demonstrated that there were significant differences in the species sold in the distinct retail groups which suggests complex drivers behind the patterns of sale in skates. The results also indicate that endangered species are not commonly being passed on to consumers. In addition, the practice of selling skate wings under ambiguous labels is highlighted as it makes it extremely difficult for consumers to exercise a right to avoid species of conservation concern. Interestingly, a single retailer chain labelled their wings as originating from three smaller-growing species (generally to be considered of lower conservation concern); of the six samples analysed from this company a third were mislabelled and originated from the thornback ray (a larger species that is currently undergoing population declines). PMID:24024082

  4. A new species of Neotropical freshwater stingray (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae) from the Rio Negro, Amazonas, Brazil: the smallest species of Potamotrygon.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Marcelo R De; Rosa, Ricardo S; Araújo, Maria Lúcia G De

    2016-05-04

    A new species of Potamotrygon is described from the Rio Negro drainage, Amazonas, Brazil. In spite of being cited or pictured several times in the scientific and aquarium fish literature since the 19th Century, it had been misidentified and still lacked a scientific name. Potamotrygon wallacei, n. sp., is diagnosed by the following characters: dorsal surface of disc light brown, with black irregularly-shaped vermiculate markings forming an amphora- or Ω-shaped figure on mid-disc, delimiting light brown reniform areas at disc center, and with subcircular light brown ocellate markings on disc margins; small body size (smallest known Potamotrygon species; largest examined specimen measured 310 mm DW); dorsal spines on tail usually rather low, without broad bases, in one to rarely three irregular rows, but extending posteriorly only to tail mid-length and not to caudal stings, with altogether relatively few spines; denticles on posterior mid-disc and tail base Y-shaped, with a central, anterior, bulbous cusp and usually two posterior pairs of smaller, rounded cusps; and single (anterior) angular cartilage. The new species is similar to P. orbignyi and other "reticulated" species in having a single (anterior) angular cartilage and in the color pattern of the tail, but is easily distinguished based on its size, dorsal tail spine arrangement, and specific details of color pattern.

  5. Potamotrygon limai, sp. nov., a new species of freshwater stingray from the upper Madeira River system, Amazon basin (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae).

    PubMed

    Fontenelle, João Pedro; Da Silva, João Paulo C B; De Carvalho, Marcelo R

    2014-01-01

    Potamotrygon limai, sp. nov., is described from the Jamari River, upper Madeira River system (Amazon basin), state of Rondônia, Brazil. This new species differs from congeners by presenting unique polygonal or concentric patterns formed by small whitish spots better defined over the posterior disc and tail-base regions. Potamotrygon limai, sp. nov., can be further distinguished from congeners in the same basin by other characters in combination, such as two to three rows of midtail spines converging to a single irregular row at level of caudal sting origin, proportions of head, tail and disc, patterns of dermal denticles on rostral, cranial and tail regions, among other features discussed herein. Potamotrygon limai, sp. nov., is most similar to, and occurs sympatrically with, P. scobina, and is distinguished from it by lacking ocellated spots on disc, by its characteristic polygonal pattern on posterior disc, a comparatively much shorter and broader tail, greater intensity of denticles on disc, more midtail spine rows at tail-base, and other features including size at maturity and meristic characters. Potamotrygon limai, sp. nov., is also distinguished from other species of Potamotrygon occurring in the Amazon region, except P. scobina, by presenting three angular cartilages (vs. two or one). This new species was discovered during a detailed taxonomic and morphological revision of the closely related species P. scobina, and highlights the necessity for thorough and all-embracing taxonomic studies, particularly in groups with pronounced endemism and morphological variability. PMID:24870898

  6. Next generation sequencing yields complete mitogenomes of Leopard whipray (Himantura leoparda) and Blue-spotted stingray (Neotrygon kuhlii) (Chondrichthyes: Dasyatidae).

    PubMed

    Shen, Kang-Ning; Chang, Chih-Wei; Tsai, Shiou-Yi; Wu, Shan-Chun; Lin, Zi-Han; Chan, Yen-Fan; Chen, Ching-Hung; Hsiao, Chung-Der; Borsa, Philippe

    2016-07-01

    The Leopard whipray (Himantura leoparda) and Blue-spotted stingray (Neotrygon kuhlii) are distributed in the Indian and West Pacific Ocean and considered as complex species based on morphological and molecular evidences. In this study, we used the next-generation sequencing method to decode two complete mitogenomes of H. leoparda and N. kuhlii. The assembled mitogenome, consisting lengths of 17,690 bp for H. leoparda and 17,974 bp for N. kuhlii, shows 78% identity to each other. Both mitogenomes follow the typical vertebrate arrangement, including 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNAs, 2 ribosomal RNAs genes and a non-coding control region of D-loop. D-loop with the lengths 1931 bp (H. leoparda) and 2243 bp (N. kuhlii) is located between tRNA-Pro and tRNA-Phe. The overall GC content is 40.3% for H. leoparda and 39.8% for N. kuhlii. The complete mitogenome of H. leoparda and N. kuhlii provides essential and important DNA molecular data for further phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses for stingray species complex. PMID:26024143

  7. Ecology of endoparasites of the fluvial stingray Potamotrygon falkneri (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae) from the upper Paraná River floodplain, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lacerda, A C F; Takemoto, R M; Pavanelli, G C

    2009-05-01

    The present study investigated the ecological relationships between endoparasites and the host Potamotrygon falkneri from the upper Paraná River by using as indicators the host's relative condition factor (Kn), sex and hepatosomatic relation (HSR). Forty-seven specimens of P. falkneri were analyzed between March 2005 and September 2006. Statistical analysis showed that the Kn was positively correlated with the abundance of Acanthobothrium regoi and Rhinebothrium paratrygoni; only the abundance of A. regoi was positively correlated to the HSR, whereas R. paratrygoni did not present correlation and there was no influence of the host's sex on the abundance and prevalence of parasites. This is the first study concerning the ecology of parasites of potamotrygonids. PMID:19675930

  8. A new species of Neotropical freshwater stingray (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae) from the Rio Negro, Amazonas, Brazil: the smallest species of Potamotrygon.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Marcelo R De; Rosa, Ricardo S; Araújo, Maria Lúcia G De

    2016-01-01

    A new species of Potamotrygon is described from the Rio Negro drainage, Amazonas, Brazil. In spite of being cited or pictured several times in the scientific and aquarium fish literature since the 19th Century, it had been misidentified and still lacked a scientific name. Potamotrygon wallacei, n. sp., is diagnosed by the following characters: dorsal surface of disc light brown, with black irregularly-shaped vermiculate markings forming an amphora- or Ω-shaped figure on mid-disc, delimiting light brown reniform areas at disc center, and with subcircular light brown ocellate markings on disc margins; small body size (smallest known Potamotrygon species; largest examined specimen measured 310 mm DW); dorsal spines on tail usually rather low, without broad bases, in one to rarely three irregular rows, but extending posteriorly only to tail mid-length and not to caudal stings, with altogether relatively few spines; denticles on posterior mid-disc and tail base Y-shaped, with a central, anterior, bulbous cusp and usually two posterior pairs of smaller, rounded cusps; and single (anterior) angular cartilage. The new species is similar to P. orbignyi and other "reticulated" species in having a single (anterior) angular cartilage and in the color pattern of the tail, but is easily distinguished based on its size, dorsal tail spine arrangement, and specific details of color pattern. PMID:27394840

  9. Next generation sequencing yields complete mitogenomes of Leopard whipray (Himantura leoparda) and Blue-spotted stingray (Neotrygon kuhlii) (Chondrichthyes: Dasyatidae).

    PubMed

    Shen, Kang-Ning; Chang, Chih-Wei; Tsai, Shiou-Yi; Wu, Shan-Chun; Lin, Zi-Han; Chan, Yen-Fan; Chen, Ching-Hung; Hsiao, Chung-Der; Borsa, Philippe

    2016-07-01

    The Leopard whipray (Himantura leoparda) and Blue-spotted stingray (Neotrygon kuhlii) are distributed in the Indian and West Pacific Ocean and considered as complex species based on morphological and molecular evidences. In this study, we used the next-generation sequencing method to decode two complete mitogenomes of H. leoparda and N. kuhlii. The assembled mitogenome, consisting lengths of 17,690 bp for H. leoparda and 17,974 bp for N. kuhlii, shows 78% identity to each other. Both mitogenomes follow the typical vertebrate arrangement, including 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNAs, 2 ribosomal RNAs genes and a non-coding control region of D-loop. D-loop with the lengths 1931 bp (H. leoparda) and 2243 bp (N. kuhlii) is located between tRNA-Pro and tRNA-Phe. The overall GC content is 40.3% for H. leoparda and 39.8% for N. kuhlii. The complete mitogenome of H. leoparda and N. kuhlii provides essential and important DNA molecular data for further phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses for stingray species complex.

  10. Apristurus breviventralis, a new species of deep-water catshark (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae) from the Gulf of Aden.

    PubMed

    Kawauchi, Junro; Weigmann, Simon; Nakaya, Kazuhiro

    2014-01-01

    A new deep-water catshark of the genus Apristurus Garman, 1913 is described based on nine specimens from the Gulf of Aden in the northwestern Indian Ocean. Apristurus breviventralis sp. nov. belongs to the 'brunneus group' of the genus and is characterized by having pectoral-fin tips reaching beyond the midpoint between the paired fin bases, a much shorter pectoral-pelvic space than the anal-fin base, a low and long-based anal fin, and a first dorsal fin located behind pelvic-fin insertion. The new species most closely resembles the western Atlantic species Apristurus canutus, but is distinguishable in having greater nostril length than internarial width and longer claspers in adult males. Apristurus breviventralis sp. nov. represents the sixth species of Apristurus from the western Indian Ocean and the 38th species globally.  PMID:25543616

  11. New tropical carcharhinids (chondrichthyes, carcharhiniformes) from the late Eocene early Oligocene of Balochistan, Pakistan: Paleoenvironmental and paleogeographic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adnet, S.; Antoine, P.-O.; Hassan Baqri, S. R.; Crochet, J.-Y.; Marivaux, L.; Welcomme, J.-L.; Métais, G.

    2007-04-01

    New selachians (sharks and rays) have been collected from several late Eocene and early Oligocene marine localities in the Bugti Hills (Balochistan, Pakistan). Two new species of Requiem sharks (close to the Recent "Bull shark") are described : Carcharhinus balochensis and Carcharhinus perseus. The rest of the fauna is notable for the strong representation of Carcharhiniformes. These selachian faunas represent a unique tropical association for the Oligocene period and one of the first modern tropical selachian faunas, with modern taxa such as the two new species of "Bull sharks", Negaprion sp. and one of the first occurrences of Sphyrna sp. Moreover, these faunas permit paleoenvironmental interpretation of adjacent land masses. The relatively modern aspect of these faunas, compared with other contemporaneous and younger selachian associations from Atlantic and Mediterranean seas, suggests biogeographic isolation of selachian communities living in eastern and western parts of the Tethys before its final closure during the early-middle Miocene.

  12. Annotated checklist of the living sharks, batoids and chimaeras (Chondrichthyes) of the world, with a focus on biogeographical diversity.

    PubMed

    Weigmann, S

    2016-03-01

    An annotated checklist of the chondrichthyan fishes (sharks, batoids and chimaeras) of the world is presented. As of 7 November 2015, the number of species totals 1188, comprising 16 orders, 61 families and 199 genera. The checklist includes nine orders, 34 families, 105 genera and 509 species of sharks; six orders, 24 families, 88 genera and 630 species of batoids (skates and rays); one order, three families, six genera and 49 species of holocephalans (chimaeras). The most speciose shark orders are the Carcharhiniformes with 284 species, followed by the Squaliformes with 119. The most species-rich batoid orders are the Rajiformes with 285 species and the Myliobatiformes with 210. This checklist represents the first global checklist of chondrichthyans to include information on maximum size, geographic and depth distributions, as well as comments on taxonomically problematic species and recent and regularly overlooked synonymizations. Furthermore, a detailed analysis of the biogeographical diversity of the species across 10 major areas of occurrence is given, including updated figures for previously published hotspots of chondrichthyan biodiversity, providing the detailed numbers of chondrichthyan species per major area, and revealing centres of distribution for several taxa. PMID:26860638

  13. Taxonomic review of catsharks of the Scyliorhinus haeckelii group, with the description of a new species (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae).

    PubMed

    Soares, Karla D A; Gomes, Ulisses L; Carvalho, Marcelo R De

    2016-01-01

    Sharks of the genus Scyliorhinus from the southwestern Atlantic are reviewed; identification problems and taxonomic misinformation given in the literature are rectified. After extensive examination of the external and internal morphology of specimens collected mostly off southeastern and southern Brazil, Scyliorhinus besnardi Springer & Sadowsky, 1970 is placed in the synonymy of S. haeckelii (Miranda Ribeiro, 1907), which is thoroughly redescribed. Additionally, a new species, Scyliorhinus cabofriensis, sp. nov., is described from the state of Rio de Janeiro, distinguished from all southwestern Atlantic congeners by its color pattern, clasper and neurocranial morphology, and proportional measurements. A key to Scyliorhinus species occurring in the southwestern Atlantic is also provided. PMID:27395851

  14. Taxonomy and morphology of species of the genus Squalus Linnaeus, 1758 from the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean (Chondrichthyes: Squaliformes: Squalidae).

    PubMed

    Viana, Sarah T De F; Carvalho, Marcelo R De; Gomes, Ulisses L

    2016-01-01

    Squalus is a genus of reportedly cosmopolitan shark species that have a high taxonomic complexity due to difficulties in their morphological differentiation; many of its species need revision. Currently, there are 26 valid species of Squalus, which have been divided into three species-groups according to overall morphological similarity, the S. acanthias, S. megalops, and S. mitsukurii groups. Loss of type specimens, propagation of erroneous identifications in the literature, and difficulties in obtaining representative series for comparison are secondary challenges that have impeded a global taxonomic revision of the genus. This problem applies clearly to species from the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean, including species that occur off Brazil. Following a current global tendency, a regional taxonomic revision of Squalus was conducted in order to investigate which species are valid in the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean and provide diagnostic morphological characters that can be efficiently used for identifying species. Comparative detailed analysis of external (e.g. morphometrics, dentition, and color pattern) and skeletal morphology (primarily meristic data, neurocrania and claspers) of specimens of Squalus from the region revealed four new species that are herein described (S. albicaudus sp. nov., S. bahiensis sp. nov., S. lobularis sp. nov., and S. quasimodo sp. nov.), as well as S. acanthias, which is redescribed from the region based on new material. Comparisons are offered based on examinations of congeneric species; this work is part of a global systematic revision of Squalus. PMID:27395700

  15. Cloning and functional characterization of Chondrichthyes, cloudy catshark, Scyliorhinus torazame and whale shark, Rhincodon typus estrogen receptors.

    PubMed

    Katsu, Yoshinao; Kohno, Satomi; Narita, Haruka; Urushitani, Hiroshi; Yamane, Koudai; Hara, Akihiko; Clauss, Tonya M; Walsh, Michael T; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Guillette, Louis J; Iguchi, Taisen

    2010-09-15

    Sex-steroid hormones are essential for normal reproductive activity in both sexes in all vertebrates. Estrogens are required for ovarian differentiation during a critical developmental stage and promote the growth and differentiation of the female reproductive system following puberty. Recent studies have shown that environmental estrogens influence the developing reproductive system as well as gametogenesis, especially in males. To understand the molecular mechanisms of estrogen actions and to evaluate estrogen receptor-ligand interactions in Elasmobranchii, we cloned a single estrogen receptor (ESR) from two shark species, the cloudy catshark (Scyliorhinus torazame) and whale shark (Rhincodon typus) and used an ERE-luciferase reporter assay system to characterize the interaction of these receptors with steroidal and other environmental estrogens. In the transient transfection ERE-luciferase reporter assay system, both shark ESR proteins displayed estrogen-dependent activation of transcription, and shark ESRs were more sensitive to 17beta-estradiol compared with other natural and synthetic estrogens. Further, the environmental chemicals, bisphenol A, nonylphenol, octylphenol and DDT could activate both shark ESRs. The assay system provides a tool for future studies examining the receptor-ligand interactions and estrogen disrupting mechanisms in Elasmobranchii.

  16. A revised classification of the family Dasyatidae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes) based on new morphological and molecular insights.

    PubMed

    Last, Peter R; Naylor, Gavin J P; Manjaji-Matsumoto, B Mabel

    2016-01-01

    The higher-level taxonomy of the stingrays (Dasyatidae) has never been comprehensively reviewed. Recent phylogenetic studies, supported by morphological data, have provided evidence that the group is monophyletic and consists of four major subgroups, the subfamilies Dasyatinae, Neotrygoninae, Urogymninae and Hypolophinae. A morphologically based review of 89 currently recognised species, undertaken for a guide to the world's rays, indicated that most of the currently recognised dasyatid genera are not monophyletic groups. These findings were supported by molecular analyses using the NADH2 gene for about 77 of these species, and this topology is supported by preliminary analyses base on whole mitochondrial genome comparisons. These molecular analyses, based on data generated from the Chondrichthyan Tree of Life project, are the most taxon-rich data available for this family. Material from all of the presently recognised genera (Dasyatis, Pteroplatytrygon and Taeniurops [Dasyatinae]; Neotrygon and Taeniura [Neotrygoninae]; Himantura and Urogymnus [Urogymninae]; and Makararaja and Pastinachus [Hypolophinae]), are included and their validity largely supported. Urogymnus and the two most species rich genera, Dasyatis and Himantura, are not considered to be monophyletic and were redefined based on external morphology. Seven new genus-level taxa are erected (Megatrygon and Telatrygon [Dasyatinae]; Brevitrygon, Fluvitrygon, Fontitrygon, Maculabatis and Pateobatis [Urogymninae], and an additional three (Bathytoshia, Hemitrygon and Hypanus [Dasyatinae]) are resurrected from the synonymy of Dasyatis. The monotypic genus Megatrygon clustered with 'amphi-American Himantura' outside the Dasyatidae, and instead as the sister group of the Potamotrygonidae and Urotrygonidae. Megatrygon is provisionally retained in the Dasyatinae pending further investigation of its internal anatomy. The morphologically divergent groups, Bathytoshia and Pteroplatytrygon, possibly form a single monophyletic group so further investigation is needed to confirm the validity of Pteroplatytrygon. A reclassification of the family Dasyatidae is provided and the above taxa are defined based on new morphological data. PMID:27470808

  17. [An intriguing model for 5S rDNA sequences dispersion in the genome of freshwater stingray Potamotrygon motoro (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae)].

    PubMed

    Cruz, V P; Oliveira, C; Foresti, F

    2015-01-01

    5S rDNA genes of the stingray Potamotrygon motoro were PCR replicated, purified, cloned and sequenced. Two distinct classes of segments of different sizes were obtained. The smallest, with 342 bp units, was classified as class I, and the largest, with 1900 bp units, was designated as class II. Alignment with the consensus sequences for both classes showed changes in a few bases in the 5S rDNA genes. TATA-like sequences were detected in the nontranscribed spacer (NTS) regions of class I and a microsatellite (GCT) 10 sequence was detected in the NTS region of class II. The results obtained can help to understand the molecular organization of ribosomal genes and the mechanism of gene dispersion.

  18. Molecular organization of 5S rDNAs in Rajidae (Chondrichthyes): Structural features and evolution of piscine 5S rRNA genes and nontranscribed intergenic spacers.

    PubMed

    Pasolini, Paola; Costagliola, Domenico; Rocco, Lucia; Tinti, Fausto

    2006-05-01

    The genomic and gene organisation of 5S rDNA clusters have been extensively characterized in bony fish and eukaryotes, providing general issues for understanding the molecular evolution of this multigene DNA family. By contrast, the 5S rDNA features have been rarely investigated in cartilaginous fish (only three species). Here, we provide evidence for a dual 5S rDNA gene system in the Rajidae by sequence analysis of the coding region (5S) and adjacent nontranscribed spacer (NTS) in five Mediterranean species of rays (Rajidae), and in a large number of piscine taxa including lampreys and bony fish. As documented in several bony fish, two functional 5S rDNA types were found here also in the rajid genome: a short one (I) and a long one (II), distinguished by distinct 5S and NTS sequences. That the ancestral piscine genome had these two 5S rDNA loci might be argued from the occurrence of homologous dual gene systems that exist in several fish taxa and from 5S phylogenetic relationships. An extensive analysis of NTS-II sequences of Rajidae and Dasyatidae revealed the occurrence of large simple sequence repeat (SSR) regions that are formed by microsatellite arrays. The localization and organization of SSR within the NTS-II are conserved in Rajiformes since the Upper Cretaceous. The direct correlation between the SSRs extension and the NTS length indicated that they might play a role in the maintenance of the larger 5S rDNA clusters in rays. The phylogenetic analysis indicated that NTS-II is a valuable systematic tool limited to distantly related taxa of Rajiformes. PMID:16612546

  19. A new species of guitarfish, Rhinobatos borneensis sp. nov. with a redefinition of the family-level classification in the order Rhinopristiformes (Chondrichthyes: Batoidea).

    PubMed

    Last, Peter R; Séret, Bernard; Naylor, Gavin J P

    2016-06-02

    A new guitarfish, Rhinobatos borneensis sp. nov., is described from material collected at fish markets in Malaysian Borneo (South China Sea). This ray, which is almost plain coloured with faint orange blotches in adults, has a more colourful embryo marked with small pale ocelli with dark centres. Confused with R. schlegelii (Japan to Taiwan) and its junior synonym R. formosensis, new molecular data suggests it is more closely related to a subgroup of Rhinobatos from the Indo-Malay Archipelago that includes R. jimbaranensis, R. sainsburyi and R. whitei. Based on evidence from recent phylogenetic studies, the genus Rhinobatos is non-monophyletic, nor is the Rhinobatidae a monophyletic family-level group. Former subgenera of Rhinobatos, Acroteriobatus and Glaucostegus, are valid genus-level taxa supported by both morphological and molecular evidence. Moreover, amphi-American members of Rhinobatos, assigned herein to a new genus Pseudobatos, are not monophyletic with Rhinobatos, Acroteriobatus and Glaucostegus and its position within the newly erected order Rhinopristiformes needs to be reassessed. Several molecular studies have suggested that the family Rhinobatidae is polyphyletic and needs to be redefined. We propose a revised classification of the order Rhinopristiformes based on molecular analyses and supported by morphological data, making strong use of oronasal morphology. The group now contains 5 family-level taxa: three valid nominal taxa, Pristidae (2 genera, 5 species), Rhinidae (incorporating Rhynchobatidae, 2 genera, 9 species), Rhinobatidae (3 genera, 31 species); and two new taxa, Glaucostegidae (single genus, 6 species) and Trygonorrhinidae (3 genera, 8 species).

  20. Quantitative Classification of Cerebellar Foliation in Cartilaginous Fishes (Class: Chondrichthyes) Using Three-Dimensional Shape Analysis and Its Implications for Evolutionary Biology.

    PubMed

    Yopak, Kara E; Galinsky, Vitaly L; Berquist, Rachel M; Frank, Lawrence R

    2016-01-01

    A true cerebellum appeared at the onset of the chondrichthyan (sharks, batoids, and chimaerids) radiation and is known to be essential for executing fast, accurate, and efficient movement. In addition to a high degree of variation in size, the corpus cerebellum in this group has a high degree of variation in convolution (or foliation) and symmetry, which ranges from a smooth cerebellar surface to deep, branched convexities and folds, although the functional significance of this trait is unclear. As variation in the degree of foliation similarly exists throughout vertebrate evolution, it becomes critical to understand this evolutionary process in a wide variety of species. However, current methods are either qualitative and lack numerical rigor or they are restricted to two dimensions. In this paper, a recently developed method for the characterization of shapes embedded within noisy, three-dimensional data called spherical wave decomposition (SWD) is applied to the problem of characterizing cerebellar foliation in cartilaginous fishes. The SWD method provides a quantitative characterization of shapes in terms of well-defined mathematical functions. An additional feature of the SWD method is the construction of a statistical criterion for the optimal fit, which represents the most parsimonious choice of parameters that fits to the data without overfitting to background noise. We propose that this optimal fit can replace a previously described qualitative visual foliation index (VFI) in cartilaginous fishes with a quantitative analog, i.e. the cerebellar foliation index (CFI). The capability of the SWD method is demonstrated in a series of volumetric images of brains from different chondrichthyan species that span the range of foliation gradings currently described for this group. The CFI is consistent with the qualitative grading provided by the VFI, delivers a robust measure of cerebellar foliation, and can provide a quantitative basis for brain shape characterization across taxa.

  1. First record of Mollisquama sp. (Chondrichthyes: Squaliformes: Dalatiidae) from the Gulf of Mexico, with a morphological comparison to the holotype description of Mollisquama parini Dolganov.

    PubMed

    Grace, Mark A; Doosey, Michael H; Bart, Henry L; Naylor, Gavin J P

    2015-04-22

    The description of the pocket shark genus Mollisquama (M. parini Dolganov, 1984) is based on a single known specimen collected from the Nazca Ridge of the southeast Pacific Ocean. A second Mollisquama specimen has been captured in the central Gulf of Mexico establishing a considerable range extension and a parturition locality because the specimen has a healed vitelline scar. Both the holotype of M. parini and the Gulf of Mexico specimen possess the remarkable pocket gland with its large slit-like external opening located just above the pectoral fin. Features found on the Gulf of Mexico specimen that were not noted in the description of M. parini include a series of ventral abdominal photophore agglomerations and a modified dermal denticle surrounded by a radiating arrangement of denticles just posterior to the mouth. Based on a morphometric and meristic comparison of the Gulf of Mexico specimen with information in the description of M. parini, the Gulf of Mexico specimen is identified as Mollisquama sp. due to differences in tooth morphology and vertebral counts. Phylogenetic analysis of NADH2 gene sequences places Mollisquama sister to Dalatias plus Isistius within the family Dalatiidae.

  2. Potamotrygon rex, a new species of Neotropical freshwater stingray (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae) from the middle and upper rio Tocantins, Brazil, closely allied to Potamotrygon henlei (Castelnau, 1855).

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Marcelo R De

    2016-08-16

    A systematic revision of the rio Tocantins stingrays has confirmed the occurrence of a new species of Potamotrygon first discovered more than two decades ago but which lacked material for a thorough description. Field surveys since undertaken in the middle and upper rio Tocantins have assembled significant material that forms the basis of an ongoing revision of the diverse Tocantins potamotrygonid assemblage. Potamotrygon rex, sp. nov., is a very large, "black stingray" species from the mid and upper rio Tocantins that is closely related to P. henlei (Castelnau), which occurs in the lower Tocantins basin and in rio Araguaia; both species do not co-occur. Potamotrygon rex, sp. nov., has a unique blackish to dark brown dorsal color with numerous small, yellow to orange irregular spots usually forming distinct clusters on dorsal disc, with ocelli in center of clusters on posterior and outer disc, dorsal tail also with clusters but lateral tail with ocelli, and a dark brownish to gray color covering most of ventral surface except nasoral region, gill slits and anterior snout in some specimens, with small whitish spots on ventral disc, pelvic fins and tail. Potamotrygon rex, sp. nov., can be further distinguished by its broad pelvic-fin apices, lack of labial grooves, irregular double row of dorsal tail thorns, and in having two angular cartilages associated with each hyomandibula. Potamotrygon rex, sp. nov., P. henlei, P. leopoldi Castex & Castello, and another new Potamotrygon species from the rio Tapajós (in description) form a species-group (the "black stingrays") occurring in rivers draining the central Brazilian shield, characterized by their black to dark brown but highly ornate dorsal color, wide pelvic fins with broadly convex apices, among other features. Potamotrygon rex, sp. nov., is the 25th species of Potamotrygon, and highlights that very large new species of fishes still await discovery and description in the Neotropical region.

  3. Morphological indicators of initial reproductive commitment in Mustelus schmitti (Springer 1939) (Chondrichthyes, Triakidae): folliculogenesis and ovarian structure over the life cycle.

    PubMed

    Galíndez, E J; Díaz Andrade, M; Estecondo, S

    2014-08-01

    This work provides information about the sexual commitment and the folliculogenesis of the gatuzo, Mustelus schmitti. A total of 112 females of all maturity stages were fished in the Bahía Blanca estuary, between 2009 and 2010. The oogonia were present throughout the life cycle of the animals. The folliculogenesis follows a pattern similar to other elasmobranchs. The granulosa layer keeps monolayered throughout the folliculogenesis, but with two cell types in the vitellogenic follicle. The zona pellucida forms in the primordial follicles. The thecal system shows a connective inner layer and a glandular outer sheath. The microscopic beginning of the sexual commitment, indicated by the vitello hoarding, takes place in follicles from 500 micrometres, while the macroscopic evidence appears in follicles of 2500-3000 micrometres. The results presented in this study suggest that the fishery pressure may affect a susceptible range of sizes of the species, not previously considered and provides a biological framework for the development of fisheries policy.

  4. First record of dicephalia in a bull shark Carcharhinus leucas (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhinidae) foetus from the Gulf of Mexico, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Wagner, C M; Rice, P H; Pease, A P

    2013-04-01

    The first recorded incidence of dicephalia in a bull shark Carcharhinus leucas is reported from a foetus collected by a fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico near Florida, U.S.A. External examination, Radiography and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a case of monosomic dicephalia where the axial skeleton and internal organs were found to divide into parallel systems anterior to the pectoral girdle resulting in two well-developed heads. PMID:23557317

  5. Potamotrygon rex, a new species of Neotropical freshwater stingray (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae) from the middle and upper rio Tocantins, Brazil, closely allied to Potamotrygon henlei (Castelnau, 1855).

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Marcelo R De

    2016-01-01

    A systematic revision of the rio Tocantins stingrays has confirmed the occurrence of a new species of Potamotrygon first discovered more than two decades ago but which lacked material for a thorough description. Field surveys since undertaken in the middle and upper rio Tocantins have assembled significant material that forms the basis of an ongoing revision of the diverse Tocantins potamotrygonid assemblage. Potamotrygon rex, sp. nov., is a very large, "black stingray" species from the mid and upper rio Tocantins that is closely related to P. henlei (Castelnau), which occurs in the lower Tocantins basin and in rio Araguaia; both species do not co-occur. Potamotrygon rex, sp. nov., has a unique blackish to dark brown dorsal color with numerous small, yellow to orange irregular spots usually forming distinct clusters on dorsal disc, with ocelli in center of clusters on posterior and outer disc, dorsal tail also with clusters but lateral tail with ocelli, and a dark brownish to gray color covering most of ventral surface except nasoral region, gill slits and anterior snout in some specimens, with small whitish spots on ventral disc, pelvic fins and tail. Potamotrygon rex, sp. nov., can be further distinguished by its broad pelvic-fin apices, lack of labial grooves, irregular double row of dorsal tail thorns, and in having two angular cartilages associated with each hyomandibula. Potamotrygon rex, sp. nov., P. henlei, P. leopoldi Castex & Castello, and another new Potamotrygon species from the rio Tapajós (in description) form a species-group (the "black stingrays") occurring in rivers draining the central Brazilian shield, characterized by their black to dark brown but highly ornate dorsal color, wide pelvic fins with broadly convex apices, among other features. Potamotrygon rex, sp. nov., is the 25th species of Potamotrygon, and highlights that very large new species of fishes still await discovery and description in the Neotropical region. PMID:27615813

  6. [An intriguing model for 5S rDNA sequences dispersion in the genome of freshwater stingray Potamotrygon motoro (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae)].

    PubMed

    Cruz, V P; Oliveira, C; Foresti, F

    2015-01-01

    5S rDNA genes of the stingray Potamotrygon motoro were PCR replicated, purified, cloned and sequenced. Two distinct classes of segments of different sizes were obtained. The smallest, with 342 bp units, was classified as class I, and the largest, with 1900 bp units, was designated as class II. Alignment with the consensus sequences for both classes showed changes in a few bases in the 5S rDNA genes. TATA-like sequences were detected in the nontranscribed spacer (NTS) regions of class I and a microsatellite (GCT) 10 sequence was detected in the NTS region of class II. The results obtained can help to understand the molecular organization of ribosomal genes and the mechanism of gene dispersion. PMID:26107907

  7. Pristiophorus lanae sp. nov., a new sawshark species from the western North Pacific, with comments on the genus Pristiophorus Müller & Henle, 1837 (Chondrichthyes: Pristiophoridae).

    PubMed

    Ebert, David A; Wilms, Hana A

    2013-01-01

    A new species of sawshark, Pristiophorus lanae sp. nov., is described from off the Philippine Islands. The new species is the second member of the genus Pristiophorus described from the western North Pacific and can be separated from its closest geographic congener, P. japonicus, by having fewer rostral teeth in front of rostral barbels (17-26 versus 25-32), mouth at corners extending forward to below the rear margin of the eye versus extending below the rear one-third of eye margin, a greater mouth width at 6.9-7.8 times into pre-oral length (versus 5.8-6.9), eye length into head length (15.6-15.9 versus 9.8-13.2), mouth width into head length 9.0-10.0 versus 7.4-8.5 times, head width at nostrils 5.2-6.1 times into pre-orbital length versus 3.9-4.9 times, shorter prebarbel length (from snout tip to barbel) of 50.7-54.5% of preoral length versus 53.6-59.2%, a snout angle of 10.6-13.0 degrees versus 12.4 degrees - 14.6 degrees, and lateral trunk denticles with flat crowns that are imbricated versus erect crowns that are not imbricated. The number of monospondylous vertebrae is slightly lowe in P. lanae (43-48) versus P. japonicus (51-52). The genus is reviewed, with a revised key to its species presented.

  8. Comparative myology of the mandibular and hyoid arches of sharks of the order hexanchiformes and their bearing on its monophyly and phylogenetic relationships (Chondrichthyes: Elasmobranchii).

    PubMed

    Soares, Mateus C; de Carvalho, Marcelo R

    2013-02-01

    The order Hexanchiformes currently comprises two families, Chlamydoselachidae (frilled sharks) and Hexanchidae (six- and seven-gill sharks), but its monophyly and relationships with other elasmobranchs are still discussed. Previous studies of hexanchiforms addressing these issues were based mainly on external morphology, teeth, skeletal features, and molecular data, whereas the employment of characters derived from variations in muscles has not been significantly explored. Dissections of four species of Hexanchiformes (including Chlamydoselachus anguineus) are reported here describing the mandibular (musculus adductor mandibulae dorsalis, m. adductor mandibulae ventralis, m. levator labii superioris, m. intermandibularis, and m. constrictor dorsalis) and hyoidean (m. constrictor hyoideus dorsalis and ventralis) arch muscles. Our results provide new data concerning the relationships of hexanchiforms to other elasmobranchs. The m. adductor mandibulae superficialis is described and illustrated in C. anguineus, contradicting previous accounts in which is was considered absent. The anteroposterior orientation of the m. adductor mandibulae superficialis in Chlamydoselachus is similar to the pattern found in hexanchids, squaloids, and hypnosqualeans (including batoids), suggesting it was secondarily lost in Echinorhinus. This muscle therefore provides further support for the inclusion of the Chlamydoselachidae and Hexanchidae in the Squalomorphi, and not basal to all other elasmobranchs or nested within an all-shark collective, as has been previously proposed. However, the m. adductor mandibulae superficialis originating at the jaw joint and with an aponeurotic insertion in hexanchids, squaliforms, and hypnosqualeans, may be a separate derived feature uniting these taxa. The insertion of the m. constrictor dorsalis is restricted to the postorbital articulation in hexanchids, whereas it extends farther anteriorly in C. anguineus. The insertion of the m. constrictor hyoideus dorsalis solely on the palatoquadrate is found exclusively in the Hexanchidae. We conclude that no specific pattern of mandibular or hyoid arch muscles support the monophyly of hexanchiforms (i.e., including Chlamydoselachus).

  9. A new species of guitarfish, Rhinobatos borneensis sp. nov. with a redefinition of the family-level classification in the order Rhinopristiformes (Chondrichthyes: Batoidea).

    PubMed

    Last, Peter R; Séret, Bernard; Naylor, Gavin J P

    2016-01-01

    A new guitarfish, Rhinobatos borneensis sp. nov., is described from material collected at fish markets in Malaysian Borneo (South China Sea). This ray, which is almost plain coloured with faint orange blotches in adults, has a more colourful embryo marked with small pale ocelli with dark centres. Confused with R. schlegelii (Japan to Taiwan) and its junior synonym R. formosensis, new molecular data suggests it is more closely related to a subgroup of Rhinobatos from the Indo-Malay Archipelago that includes R. jimbaranensis, R. sainsburyi and R. whitei. Based on evidence from recent phylogenetic studies, the genus Rhinobatos is non-monophyletic, nor is the Rhinobatidae a monophyletic family-level group. Former subgenera of Rhinobatos, Acroteriobatus and Glaucostegus, are valid genus-level taxa supported by both morphological and molecular evidence. Moreover, amphi-American members of Rhinobatos, assigned herein to a new genus Pseudobatos, are not monophyletic with Rhinobatos, Acroteriobatus and Glaucostegus and its position within the newly erected order Rhinopristiformes needs to be reassessed. Several molecular studies have suggested that the family Rhinobatidae is polyphyletic and needs to be redefined. We propose a revised classification of the order Rhinopristiformes based on molecular analyses and supported by morphological data, making strong use of oronasal morphology. The group now contains 5 family-level taxa: three valid nominal taxa, Pristidae (2 genera, 5 species), Rhinidae (incorporating Rhynchobatidae, 2 genera, 9 species), Rhinobatidae (3 genera, 31 species); and two new taxa, Glaucostegidae (single genus, 6 species) and Trygonorrhinidae (3 genera, 8 species). PMID:27395187

  10. Review of the enigmatic Eocene shark genus Xiphodolamia (Chondrichthyes, Lamniformes) and description of a new species recovered from Angola, Iran and Jordan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adnet, S.; Hosseinzadeh, R.; Antunes, M. T.; Balbino, A. C.; Kozlov, V. A.; Cappetta, H.

    2009-10-01

    Little is known about the extinct Xiphodolamia, a peculiar lamnid shark which inhabited the Eocene seas. The reexamination of a large set of fossilized teeth specimens from the Ypresian of Kazakhstan has enabled the reconstitution of the tooth series of this enigmatic taxa of lamnid shark. Five distinct tooth morphologies seem to occur in X. ensis Leidy [Leidy, J., 1877. Description of vertebrate remains, chiefly from the phosphate beds of South Carolina. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 8, 209-261] species revealing a weak ontogenetic variation. Such specific variation in tooth shape means that the other described species may be their junior synonyms. Dental morphology perfectly conforms with a Lamniforme but does not prove the current attribution to the Lamnidae family due to some inconsistent dental features observed, such as the presence of symphysial teeth. This genus could be regarded as an old lineage branched from the stem group of Lamnidae, close to the Isuroids sharks. Several Xiphodolamia teeth, originating both from old collections and new acquisitions, are reported and illustrated in order to provide information about a new species described here: Xiphodolamia serrata nov. sp. This species, currently limited to deposits in Angola, Jordan and Iran and dated at the Late Eocene, is easily distinguishable from the Early-Middle Eocene material belonging to the genus by the presence of serrated cutting edges. Adding to the type species considered here as the only valid taxa during the Early-Middle Eocene period, the temporal range of this genus extends to the Late Eocene, thus setting its upper stratigraphic limit prior to its disappearance as enigmatic as its appearance in the Early Eocene was.

  11. Quantitative Classification of Cerebellar Foliation in Cartilaginous Fishes (Class: Chondrichthyes) Using Three-Dimensional Shape Analysis and Its Implications for Evolutionary Biology.

    PubMed

    Yopak, Kara E; Galinsky, Vitaly L; Berquist, Rachel M; Frank, Lawrence R

    2016-01-01

    A true cerebellum appeared at the onset of the chondrichthyan (sharks, batoids, and chimaerids) radiation and is known to be essential for executing fast, accurate, and efficient movement. In addition to a high degree of variation in size, the corpus cerebellum in this group has a high degree of variation in convolution (or foliation) and symmetry, which ranges from a smooth cerebellar surface to deep, branched convexities and folds, although the functional significance of this trait is unclear. As variation in the degree of foliation similarly exists throughout vertebrate evolution, it becomes critical to understand this evolutionary process in a wide variety of species. However, current methods are either qualitative and lack numerical rigor or they are restricted to two dimensions. In this paper, a recently developed method for the characterization of shapes embedded within noisy, three-dimensional data called spherical wave decomposition (SWD) is applied to the problem of characterizing cerebellar foliation in cartilaginous fishes. The SWD method provides a quantitative characterization of shapes in terms of well-defined mathematical functions. An additional feature of the SWD method is the construction of a statistical criterion for the optimal fit, which represents the most parsimonious choice of parameters that fits to the data without overfitting to background noise. We propose that this optimal fit can replace a previously described qualitative visual foliation index (VFI) in cartilaginous fishes with a quantitative analog, i.e. the cerebellar foliation index (CFI). The capability of the SWD method is demonstrated in a series of volumetric images of brains from different chondrichthyan species that span the range of foliation gradings currently described for this group. The CFI is consistent with the qualitative grading provided by the VFI, delivers a robust measure of cerebellar foliation, and can provide a quantitative basis for brain shape characterization across taxa. PMID:27450795

  12. Pristiophorus lanae sp. nov., a new sawshark species from the western North Pacific, with comments on the genus Pristiophorus Müller & Henle, 1837 (Chondrichthyes: Pristiophoridae).

    PubMed

    Ebert, David A; Wilms, Hana A

    2013-01-01

    A new species of sawshark, Pristiophorus lanae sp. nov., is described from off the Philippine Islands. The new species is the second member of the genus Pristiophorus described from the western North Pacific and can be separated from its closest geographic congener, P. japonicus, by having fewer rostral teeth in front of rostral barbels (17-26 versus 25-32), mouth at corners extending forward to below the rear margin of the eye versus extending below the rear one-third of eye margin, a greater mouth width at 6.9-7.8 times into pre-oral length (versus 5.8-6.9), eye length into head length (15.6-15.9 versus 9.8-13.2), mouth width into head length 9.0-10.0 versus 7.4-8.5 times, head width at nostrils 5.2-6.1 times into pre-orbital length versus 3.9-4.9 times, shorter prebarbel length (from snout tip to barbel) of 50.7-54.5% of preoral length versus 53.6-59.2%, a snout angle of 10.6-13.0 degrees versus 12.4 degrees - 14.6 degrees, and lateral trunk denticles with flat crowns that are imbricated versus erect crowns that are not imbricated. The number of monospondylous vertebrae is slightly lowe in P. lanae (43-48) versus P. japonicus (51-52). The genus is reviewed, with a revised key to its species presented. PMID:25229110

  13. New name for Progrillotia dollfusi Carvajal et Rego, 1983 (Cestoda: Trypanorhyncha): description of adults from Squatina guggenheim (Chondrichthyes: Squatiniformes) off the coast of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Menoret, Adriana; Ivanov, Verónica A

    2009-12-01

    Examination of the type material of Progrillotia dollfusi Carvajal et Rego, 1983, and of new specimens recently collected off the coast of Argentina (including plerocerci from 10 species of teleosts and adults from Squatina guggenheim Marini), allowed a detailed redescription of this species and the evaluation of its current taxonomic status. The following characters that have been treated inconsistently by different authors have been herein corrected or confirmed: band of hooklets on external surface restricted to the base of the tentacle, external surface of metabasal region with 3-5 intercalary hooks arranged in a single row merging immediately to a cluster of 3-4 hooklets arranged in two rows; retractor muscle originating in the posterior third of the bulb, hollow hooks, and posterior margin of bothria notched. These features along with the presence of postovarian testes in the adults clearly confirm the placement of P. dollfusi in the genus Grillotia Guiart, 1927. In order to avoid the homonymy with Grillotia dollfusi Carvajal, 1971, a new name, Grillotia carvajalregorum nom. n., is proposed. This species differs from the 16 valid species in the genus in the combination of the following characters: number and morphology of hooks in principal rows in proximal metabasal region of the tentacle, number and distribution of intercalary hooks, presence of clusters of hooklets, extent of band of hooklets on external surface of basal armature, site of origin of the retractor muscle, and features of the terminal genitalia. The present study describes the plerocerci and adult worms, and provides detailed description of the microthrix pattern and histology of this species for the first time. PMID:20128241

  14. Exposure to 3,3’,4,4’,5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 126) impacts multiple organ systems in developing little skate (Leucoraja erinacea)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Effects of exposure to coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other dioxin-like chemicals on developing vertebrates involve many organ systems, including the skeletal and cardiovascular systems. Apex predators, including those from the class Chondrichthyes (sharks, skates,...

  15. A choroid plexus papilloma in an elasmobranch (Squalus acanthias).

    PubMed

    Prieur, D J; Fenstermacher, J D; Guarino, A M

    1976-06-01

    A choroid papilloma in the choroid plexus of the ala of the fourth ventricle in a mature male elasmobranch, Squalus acanthias, was described. This is apparently the first report of a neoplasm of the central nervous system in a member of the class Chondrichthyes. PMID:994222

  16. Prolonged gestation in two Holstein cows: transabdominal ultrasonographic findings in late pregnancy and pathologic findings in the fetuses.

    PubMed

    Buczinski, S; Bélanger, A-M; Fecteau, G; Roy, J-P

    2007-12-01

    Prolonged pregnancy in cattle is a rare condition that is commonly accompanied with fetal adenohypophyseal hypoplasia. The final diagnosis is often challenging as breeding date error remains possible in virtually all situations. In this report, fetal wellbeing assessment is depicted in two Holstein cows suffered from prolonged pregnancy. Transabdominal ultrasonographic findings were compatible with healthy non-stressed fetuses. The clinical and pathologic findings encountered in both fetuses expelled after corticosteroid induction of parturition consisted of adenohypophyseal aplasia and hydronephrosis. Other nervous system anomalies (hydrocephaly or holocephaly) were observed. Tetralogy of Fallot was also found in one calf.

  17. Identification of members of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) families in the genome of the holocephalan, Callorhinchus milii (elephant shark).

    PubMed

    Nock, Tanya G; Chand, Dhan; Lovejoy, David A

    2011-04-01

    The gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and corticotropin-releasing family (CRF) are two neuropeptides families that are strongly conserved throughout evolution. Recently, the genome of the holocephalan, Callorhinchus milii (elephant shark) has been sequenced. The phylogenetic position of C. milii, along with the relatively slow evolution of the cartilaginous fish suggests that neuropeptides in this species may resemble the earliest gnathostome forms. The genome of the elephant shark was screened, in silico, using the various conserved motifs of both the vertebrate CRF paralogs and the insect diuretic hormone sequences to identify the structure of the C. milii CRF/DH-like peptides. A similar approach was taken to identify the GnRH peptides using conserved motifs in both vertebrate and invertebrate forms. Two CRF peptides, a urotensin-1 peptide and a urocortin 3 peptide were found in the genome. There was only about 50% sequence identity between the two CRF peptides suggesting an early divergence. In addition, the urocortin 2 peptide seems to have been lost and was identified as a pseudogene in C. milii. In contrast to the number of CRF family peptides, only a GnRH-II preprohormone with the conserved mature decapeptide was found. This confirms early studies about the identity of GnRH in the Holocephali, and suggests that the Holocephali and Elasmobranchii differ with respect to GnRH structure and function. PMID:21310155

  18. The complete mitochondrial genome of the endangered spotback skate, Atlantoraja castelnaui.

    PubMed

    Duckett, Drew J L; Naylor, Gavin J P

    2016-05-01

    Chondrichthyes are a highly threatened class of organisms, largely due to overfishing and other human activities. The present study describes the complete mitochondrial genome (16,750 bp) of the endangered spotback skate, Atlantoraja castelnaui. The mitogenome is arranged in a typical vertebrate fashion, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes and 1 control region. PMID:25418618

  19. The complete mitochondrial genome of the endangered spotback skate, Atlantoraja castelnaui.

    PubMed

    Duckett, Drew J L; Naylor, Gavin J P

    2016-05-01

    Chondrichthyes are a highly threatened class of organisms, largely due to overfishing and other human activities. The present study describes the complete mitochondrial genome (16,750 bp) of the endangered spotback skate, Atlantoraja castelnaui. The mitogenome is arranged in a typical vertebrate fashion, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes and 1 control region.

  20. Geology and taphonomy of the base of the Taquaral Member, Irati Formation (Permian, Paraná Basin), Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chahud, Artur; Petri, Setembrino

    2015-09-01

    The taphonomy of Early Permian vertebrates from a sandy facies at the base of the Taquaral Member, Irati Formation, was surveyed in order to acquire data for the interpretation of the sedimentary processes and paleoenvironment of deposition. Six outcrops from the Rio Claro municipality and surrounding areas, from the Brazilian State of São Paulo, were investigated. The vertebrate groups are Chondrichthyes (Xenacanthiformes, Ctenacanthiformes and Petalodontiformes), Osteichthyes (Actinopterygii and Sarcopterygii) and Tetrapodomorpha. They occur as loose teeth, scales, spines and bone remains. The sandy facies is characterized by fining upward deposition. The coarser sandstone immediately above the underlying Tatuí Formation is rich in Chondrichthyes. However, the fine sandstone above, immediately beneath the silty shale facies, is devoid of Chondrichthyes, though Osteichthyes scales, teeth and bones were present. The taphonomy is important for inferring sedimentary processes and then the paleoenvironments. The poor sorting of the sandstone and the presence of fossils that are mostly abraded or worn are indicative of a high energy environment. In contrast, the presence of fossils in a good state of preservation, some without abrasion and breakages are indicative of only limited transport. Differences of fossil spatial density, numbers of specimens and taxa may be explained by the dynamics of deposition, from details of the palaeoenvironment can be obtained.

  1. [Helminths of Antarctic fishes].

    PubMed

    Rocka, Anna

    2008-01-01

    Antarctic fishes are represented by sharks, skates (Chondrichthyes) and bony fishes (Teleostei). Teleosts play an important role in the completion of life cycles of many helminth species. They serve as either definitive or intermediate and paratenic hosts. Chondrichthyes are definitive hosts only. Seventy three helminth species occur as the adult stage in fishes: Digenea (45), Cestoda (14), Nematoda (6), Acanthocephala (8), Also, 11 larval stages of Cestoda (7) and Nematoda (4) are known, together with 7 species of Acanthocephala in the cystacanth stage. One digenean species, Otodistomum cestoides, matures in skates. Among cestodes maturing in fishes only one, Parabothriocephalus johnstoni, occurs in a bony fish, Macrourus whitsoni. Antarctic Chondrichthyes are not infected with nematodes and acanthocephalans. Cestode larvae from teleosts belong to Tetraphyllidea (parasites of skates), and Tetrabothriidae and Diphyllobothriidae (parasites of birds and mammals). Larval nematodes represent Anisakidae, parasites of fishes, birds and mammals. Acanthocephalan cystacanths mature in pinnipeds and birds. The majority of parasites maturing in Antarctic fishes are endemics. Only 4 digenean and one nematode species, Hysterothylacium aduncum, are cosmopolitan. All acanthocephalans, almost all digeneans, the majority of cestodes and some nematodes occur mainly or exclusively in benthic fishes. Specificity of the majority of helminths utilizing teleosts as intermediate and/or paratenic hosts is low. Among parasites using fishes as definitive hosts, all Cestoda, most Digenea and Nematoda, and almost all Acanthocephala have a range of hosts restricted to one order or even to 1-2 host species. PMID:18664106

  2. Coevolution of the Monogenoidea (Platyhelminthes) based on a revised hypothesis of parasite phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Boeger, W A; Kritsky, D C

    1997-12-01

    A revised hypothesis for the phylogeny of the Subclass Polyonchoinea (Monogenoidea) was constructed employing phylogenetic systematics. The Acanthocotylidae (formerly of the Order Capsalidea) is transferred to the Order Gyrodactylidea based on this analysis. The new phylogeny is used to determine coevolutionary relationships of the familial taxa of Monogenoidea with their hosts. The coevolutionary analysis suggests that the Monogenoidea apparently underwent sympatric speciation or dispersal while parasitic on ancestral Gnathostomata, resulting in two primary clades: the Polyonchoinea and the Oligonchoinea + Polystomatoinea. The two parasite clades apparently cospeciated independently with divergence of the Chondrichthyes and Osteichthyes. In the Polyonchoinea, the clade associated with Chondrichthyes experienced primary extinction within the Holocephala, but coevolved into the Loimoidae and Monocotylidae in the Galeomorphii and Squalea (Elasmobranchii), respectively. Within the Osteichthyes, polyonchoineans experienced primary extinction with the divergence of Sarcopterygii, Polypteriformes and Acipenseriformes. They demonstrate primary dispersal from the Neopterygii into the Squalea (as Amphibdellatinea), Actinistia (as Neodactylodiscinea) and Urodela (as Lagarocotylidea). Secondary dispersals of polyonchoineans occurred in the Gyrodactylidae to the Polypteriformes, Urodela and Anura; in the Acanthocotylidae to the Myxinoidea and Squalea; in the Capsalidae to the Acipenseriformes and Elasmobranchii; and in the Monocotylidae to the Holocephala. The Oligonchoinea and Polystomatoinea developed upon divergence of the Chondrichthyes and Osteichthyes. Oligonchoineans cospeciated within the Chondrichthyes, with the Chimaericolidea developing within the Holocephala and the ancestor of the Diclybothriidea + Mazocraeidea within the Elasmobranchii. Two cases of primary dispersal occurred within this clade: the Diclybothriidae to the Acipenseriformes and the ancestor of

  3. Gnathostome phylogenomics utilizing lungfish EST sequences.

    PubMed

    Hallström, Björn M; Janke, Axel

    2009-02-01

    The relationship between the Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes), the Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes), and the piscine Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fishes) and how the Tetrapoda (four-limbed terrestrial vertebrates) are related to these has been a contentious issue for more than a century. A general consensus about the relationship of these vertebrate clades has gradually emerged among morphologists, but no molecular study has yet provided conclusive evidence for any specific hypothesis. In order to examine these relationships on the basis of more extensive sequence data, we have produced almost 1,000,000 bp of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from the African marbled lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus. This new data set yielded 771 transcribed nuclear sequences that had not been previously described. The lungfish EST sequences were combined with EST data from two cartilaginous fishes and whole genome data from an agnathan, four ray-finned fishes, and four tetrapods. Phylogenomic analysis of these data yielded, for the first time, significant maximum likelihood support for a traditional gnathostome tree with a split between the Chondrichthyes and remaining (bone) gnathostomes. Also, the sister group relationship between Dipnoi (lungfishes) and Tetrapoda received conclusive support. Previously proposed hypotheses, such as the monophyly of fishes, could be rejected significantly. The divergence time between lungfishes and tetrapods was estimated to 382-388 Ma by the current data set and six calibration points. PMID:19029191

  4. Recurrent gene loss correlates with the evolution of stomach phenotypes in gnathostome history.

    PubMed

    Castro, L Filipe C; Gonçalves, Odete; Mazan, Sylvie; Tay, Boon-Hui; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Wilson, Jonathan M

    2014-01-22

    The stomach, a hallmark of gnathostome evolution, represents a unique anatomical innovation characterized by the presence of acid- and pepsin-secreting glands. However, the occurrence of these glands in gnathostome species is not universal; in the nineteenth century the French zoologist Cuvier first noted that some teleosts lacked a stomach. Strikingly, Holocephali (chimaeras), dipnoids (lungfish) and monotremes (egg-laying mammals) also lack acid secretion and a gastric cellular phenotype. Here, we test the hypothesis that loss of the gastric phenotype is correlated with the loss of key gastric genes. We investigated species from all the main gnathostome lineages and show the specific contribution of gene loss to the widespread distribution of the agastric condition. We establish that the stomach loss correlates with the persistent and complete absence of the gastric function gene kit--H(+)/K(+)-ATPase (Atp4A and Atp4B) and pepsinogens (Pga, Pgc, Cym)--in the analysed species. We also find that in gastric species the pepsinogen gene complement varies significantly (e.g. two to four in teleosts and tens in some mammals) with multiple events of pseudogenization identified in various lineages. We propose that relaxation of purifying selection in pepsinogen genes and possibly proton pump genes in response to dietary changes led to the numerous independent events of stomach loss in gnathostome history. Significantly, the absence of the gastric genes predicts that reinvention of the stomach in agastric lineages would be highly improbable, in line with Dollo's principle. PMID:24307675

  5. Recurrent gene loss correlates with the evolution of stomach phenotypes in gnathostome history.

    PubMed

    Castro, L Filipe C; Gonçalves, Odete; Mazan, Sylvie; Tay, Boon-Hui; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Wilson, Jonathan M

    2014-01-22

    The stomach, a hallmark of gnathostome evolution, represents a unique anatomical innovation characterized by the presence of acid- and pepsin-secreting glands. However, the occurrence of these glands in gnathostome species is not universal; in the nineteenth century the French zoologist Cuvier first noted that some teleosts lacked a stomach. Strikingly, Holocephali (chimaeras), dipnoids (lungfish) and monotremes (egg-laying mammals) also lack acid secretion and a gastric cellular phenotype. Here, we test the hypothesis that loss of the gastric phenotype is correlated with the loss of key gastric genes. We investigated species from all the main gnathostome lineages and show the specific contribution of gene loss to the widespread distribution of the agastric condition. We establish that the stomach loss correlates with the persistent and complete absence of the gastric function gene kit--H(+)/K(+)-ATPase (Atp4A and Atp4B) and pepsinogens (Pga, Pgc, Cym)--in the analysed species. We also find that in gastric species the pepsinogen gene complement varies significantly (e.g. two to four in teleosts and tens in some mammals) with multiple events of pseudogenization identified in various lineages. We propose that relaxation of purifying selection in pepsinogen genes and possibly proton pump genes in response to dietary changes led to the numerous independent events of stomach loss in gnathostome history. Significantly, the absence of the gastric genes predicts that reinvention of the stomach in agastric lineages would be highly improbable, in line with Dollo's principle.

  6. Recurrent gene loss correlates with the evolution of stomach phenotypes in gnathostome history

    PubMed Central

    Castro, L. Filipe C.; Gonçalves, Odete; Mazan, Sylvie; Tay, Boon-Hui; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Wilson, Jonathan M.

    2014-01-01

    The stomach, a hallmark of gnathostome evolution, represents a unique anatomical innovation characterized by the presence of acid- and pepsin-secreting glands. However, the occurrence of these glands in gnathostome species is not universal; in the nineteenth century the French zoologist Cuvier first noted that some teleosts lacked a stomach. Strikingly, Holocephali (chimaeras), dipnoids (lungfish) and monotremes (egg-laying mammals) also lack acid secretion and a gastric cellular phenotype. Here, we test the hypothesis that loss of the gastric phenotype is correlated with the loss of key gastric genes. We investigated species from all the main gnathostome lineages and show the specific contribution of gene loss to the widespread distribution of the agastric condition. We establish that the stomach loss correlates with the persistent and complete absence of the gastric function gene kit—H+/K+-ATPase (Atp4A and Atp4B) and pepsinogens (Pga, Pgc, Cym)—in the analysed species. We also find that in gastric species the pepsinogen gene complement varies significantly (e.g. two to four in teleosts and tens in some mammals) with multiple events of pseudogenization identified in various lineages. We propose that relaxation of purifying selection in pepsinogen genes and possibly proton pump genes in response to dietary changes led to the numerous independent events of stomach loss in gnathostome history. Significantly, the absence of the gastric genes predicts that reinvention of the stomach in agastric lineages would be highly improbable, in line with Dollo's principle. PMID:24307675

  7. Osteognathostomata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultze, Hans-Peter

    Noch häufig, vor allem im englischen Sprachraum, wird für die fischartigen Wirbeltiere mit Knochenskelett, also die Actinopterygii und Sarcopterygii, der Begriff "Osteichthyes" (Knochenfische) verwendet. Da sich jedoch aus einem Subtaxon der Sarcopterygier die Tet rapoda entwickelten (S. 322), würde diese Gruppierung ein paraphyletisches Taxon darstellen. Hier wird daher dem Vorschlag W. Hennigs (1983) gefolgt und die Schwestergruppe der Chondrichthyes Osteognathostomata genannt: Sie enthält alle weiteren kiefertragenden Wirbeltiere mit Knochenskelett (Name!) (Abb. 201). Die Sarcopterygii umfassen demnach verschiedene fossile Gruppen, die rezenten Reliktgruppen der Dipnoi (Lungenfische) und Actinistia (Hohlstachler) sowie die Tetrapoda und ihre Stammgruppenvertreter. (Neuerdings wird in der Literatur aus denselben Gründen einer konsequent phylogenetischen Systematisierung wieder die Gruppierung Osteichthyes, aber unter Einschluss der Tetrapoda, verwendet!).

  8. [Comparison of the genome of the alligator gar with the genomes of several other fish].

    PubMed

    Kedrova, O S; Vladychenskaia, N S; Antonov, A S

    1983-01-01

    Hybridization of alligator gar (Lepisosteus osseus, Lepisosteiformes, Ganoidomorpha) [125I]- or [3H]DNA fractions with DNAs of more or less phylogenetically related fishes was studied. Almost all of the repeated and unique sequences of alligator gar DNA and DNA of the spotted gar (from the same genus) are highly homologous (1-2% of nucleotide substitutions). The degrees of homology between repeated and unique sequences of alligator gar DNA and DNAs of the representatives of Acipenseriformes (the same super-order Ganoidomorpha), Latimeria chalumnae (another subclass, Sarcopterygii) and a shark (another class, Chondrichthyes) are of the same order, and the levels of divergency of their DNAs sequences are similar. These results demonstrate, that the joining of Lepisosteiformes and Acipenseriformes in one and the same group of Ganoidomorpha is artificial, and that the superclass of fishes, Pisces, includes more taxons of the class rank then it has been taken in theory. PMID:6855763

  9. [Comparison of the genome of the alligator gar with the genomes of several other fish].

    PubMed

    Kedrova, O S; Vladychenskaia, N S; Antonov, A S

    1983-01-01

    Hybridization of alligator gar (Lepisosteus osseus, Lepisosteiformes, Ganoidomorpha) [125I]- or [3H]DNA fractions with DNAs of more or less phylogenetically related fishes was studied. Almost all of the repeated and unique sequences of alligator gar DNA and DNA of the spotted gar (from the same genus) are highly homologous (1-2% of nucleotide substitutions). The degrees of homology between repeated and unique sequences of alligator gar DNA and DNAs of the representatives of Acipenseriformes (the same super-order Ganoidomorpha), Latimeria chalumnae (another subclass, Sarcopterygii) and a shark (another class, Chondrichthyes) are of the same order, and the levels of divergency of their DNAs sequences are similar. These results demonstrate, that the joining of Lepisosteiformes and Acipenseriformes in one and the same group of Ganoidomorpha is artificial, and that the superclass of fishes, Pisces, includes more taxons of the class rank then it has been taken in theory.

  10. Observations on the radiation of lobe-finned fishes, ray-finned fishes, and cartilaginous fishes: phylogeny of the opioid/orphanin gene family and the 2R hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Dores, Robert M; Majeed, Qais; Komorowski, Leanne

    2011-01-15

    At the close of the Devonian Period the rapid decline in the diversity of the lobe-finned fishes was countered by the emergence and diversification of the ray-finned fishes and the cartilaginous fishes that now dominate marine and freshwater ecosystems. All of these jawed vertebrates were derived from the ancestral gnathostomes; a chordate lineage that had experienced two genome duplication events during the evolution of the phylum. This review analyzes trends in the phylogeny of the opioid/orphanin gene family (four prohormone/neuropeptide precursor-coding genes) in the major classes of gnathostomes that survived the extinction events at the close of the Devonian Period and focuses on some features of this gene family that appear to set the cartilaginous fishes (class Chondrichthyes) apart from class Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fishes and tetrapods) and class Actinopterygii (the ray-finned fishes).

  11. SkateBase, an elasmobranch genome project and collection of molecular resources for chondrichthyan fishes

    PubMed Central

    Wyffels, Jennifer; L. King, Benjamin; Vincent, James; Chen, Chuming; Wu, Cathy H.; Polson, Shawn W.

    2014-01-01

    Chondrichthyan fishes are a diverse class of gnathostomes that provide a valuable perspective on fundamental characteristics shared by all jawed and limbed vertebrates. Studies of phylogeny, species diversity, population structure, conservation, and physiology are accelerated by genomic, transcriptomic and protein sequence data. These data are widely available for many sarcopterygii (coelacanth, lungfish and tetrapods) and actinoptergii (ray-finned fish including teleosts) taxa, but limited for chondrichthyan fishes.  In this study, we summarize available data for chondrichthyes and describe resources for one of the largest projects to characterize one of these fish, Leucoraja erinacea, the little skate.  SkateBase ( http://skatebase.org) serves as the skate genome project portal linking data, research tools, and teaching resources. PMID:25309735

  12. Complete mitochondrial genome of the largest living fish: whale shark Rhincodon typus (Orectolobiformes: Rhincodontidae).

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiao; Ai, Weiming; Pan, Lianghao; Shi, Xiaofang

    2016-01-01

    The whale shark Rhincodon typus (Pisces: Chondrichthyes, Orectolobiformes, Rhincodontidae) is the largest living fish on Earth. In this study, we presented its complete mitogenome. It is 16,928 bp in length, contains 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes and one control region with the typical gene order and transcriptional direction in the vertebrates. Overall base composition of the R. typus mitogenome is 33.5% A, 24.3% C, 12.8% G and 29.5% T. Two start codon (GTG and ATG) and two stop codon patterns (TAG and TAA/T) were found in protein-coding genes. The tRNA-Ser2 could not be folded into the typical cloverleaf secondary structure because of the replacement of its dihydrouridine arm by a simple loop. A termination associated sequences (TAS) and three conserved sequence blocks (CSB1-3) were identified in the control region.

  13. Complete mitochondrial genome of the pelagic stingray Pteroplatytrygon violacea (Myliobatiformes: Dasyatidae).

    PubMed

    Yang, Chao-Pin; Zhi, Ting-Ting; Zhang, Shuai; Yan, Shuai; Yang, Tingbao

    2016-01-01

    The pelagic stingray Pteroplatytrygon violacea is the only pelagic species of the Dasyatidae (Chondrichthyes: Elasmobranchii), which is widely distributed in all tropical, subtropical and temperate oceans. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of Pteroplatytrygon violacea was determined. It is 17,665 bp in length and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and 1 control region, with the typical gene order and direction of transcription of vertebrates. The overall nucleotide compositions of the whole mitogenome are 30.8% A, 26.9% C, 28.6% T and 13.7% G. The ND2 and CO1 sequences are highly similar to the corresponding sequences of this species available in NCBI collected from the Atlantic sea. PMID:24938117

  14. Origin of the response to adrenal and sex steroids: Roles of promiscuity and co-evolution of enzymes and steroid receptors.

    PubMed

    Baker, Michael E; Nelson, David R; Studer, Romain A

    2015-07-01

    Many responses to adrenal and sex steroids are mediated by receptors that belong to the nuclear receptor family of transcription factors. We investigated the co-evolution of these vertebrate steroid receptors and the enzymes that synthesize adrenal and sex steroids through data mining of genomes from cephalochordates [amphioxus], cyclostomes [lampreys, hagfish], chondrichthyes [sharks, rays, skates], actinopterygii [ray-finned fish], sarcopterygii [coelacanths, lungfishes and terrestrial vertebrates]. An ancestor of the estrogen receptor and 3-ketosteroid receptors evolved in amphioxus. A corticoid receptor and a progesterone receptor evolved in cyclostomes, and an androgen receptor evolved in gnathostomes. Amphioxus contains CYP11, CYP17, CYP19, 3β/Δ5-4-HSD and 17β-HSD14, which suffice for the synthesis of estradiol and Δ5-androstenediol. Amphioxus also contains CYP27, which catalyzes the synthesis of 27-hydroxy-cholesterol, another estrogen. Lamprey contains, in addition, CYP21, which catalyzes the synthesis of 11-deoxycortisol. Chondrichthyes contain, in addition, CYP11A, CYP11C, CYP17A1, CYP17A2. Coelacanth also contains CYP11C1, the current descendent from a common ancestor with modern land vertebrate CYP11B genes, which catalyze the synthesis of cortisol, corticosterone and aldosterone. Interestingly, CYP11B2, aldosterone synthase, evolved from separate gene duplications in at least old world monkeys and two suborders of rodents. Sciurognathi (including mice and rats) and Hystricomorpha (including guinea pigs). Thus, steroid receptors and steroidogenic enzymes co-evolved at key transitions in the evolution of vertebrates. Together, this suite of receptors and enzymes through their roles in transcriptional regulation of reproduction, development, homeostasis and the response to stress contributed to the evolutionary diversification of vertebrates. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Steroid/Sterol signaling'. PMID:25445914

  15. Ancient Duplications and Expression Divergence in the Globin Gene Superfamily of Vertebrates: Insights from the Elephant Shark Genome and Transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Opazo, Juan C; Lee, Alison P; Hoffmann, Federico G; Toloza-Villalobos, Jessica; Burmester, Thorsten; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Storz, Jay F

    2015-07-01

    Comparative analyses of vertebrate genomes continue to uncover a surprising diversity of genes in the globin gene superfamily, some of which have very restricted phyletic distributions despite their antiquity. Genomic analysis of the globin gene repertoire of cartilaginous fish (Chondrichthyes) should be especially informative about the duplicative origins and ancestral functions of vertebrate globins, as divergence between Chondrichthyes and bony vertebrates represents the most basal split within the jawed vertebrates. Here, we report a comparative genomic analysis of the vertebrate globin gene family that includes the complete globin gene repertoire of the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii). Using genomic sequence data from representatives of all major vertebrate classes, integrated analyses of conserved synteny and phylogenetic relationships revealed that the last common ancestor of vertebrates possessed a repertoire of at least seven globin genes: single copies of androglobin and neuroglobin, four paralogous copies of globin X, and the single-copy progenitor of the entire set of vertebrate-specific globins. Combined with expression data, the genomic inventory of elephant shark globins yielded four especially surprising findings: 1) there is no trace of the neuroglobin gene (a highly conserved gene that is present in all other jawed vertebrates that have been examined to date), 2) myoglobin is highly expressed in heart, but not in skeletal muscle (reflecting a possible ancestral condition in vertebrates with single-circuit circulatory systems), 3) elephant shark possesses two highly divergent globin X paralogs, one of which is preferentially expressed in gonads, and 4) elephant shark possesses two structurally distinct α-globin paralogs, one of which is preferentially expressed in the brain. Expression profiles of elephant shark globin genes reveal distinct specializations of function relative to orthologs in bony vertebrates and suggest hypotheses about

  16. Ancient Duplications and Expression Divergence in the Globin Gene Superfamily of Vertebrates: Insights from the Elephant Shark Genome and Transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    Opazo, Juan C.; Toloza-Villalobos, Jessica; Burmester, Thorsten; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Storz, Jay F.

    2015-01-01

    Comparative analyses of vertebrate genomes continue to uncover a surprising diversity of genes in the globin gene superfamily, some of which have very restricted phyletic distributions despite their antiquity. Genomic analysis of the globin gene repertoire of cartilaginous fish (Chondrichthyes) should be especially informative about the duplicative origins and ancestral functions of vertebrate globins, as divergence between Chondrichthyes and bony vertebrates represents the most basal split within the jawed vertebrates. Here, we report a comparative genomic analysis of the vertebrate globin gene family that includes the complete globin gene repertoire of the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii). Using genomic sequence data from representatives of all major vertebrate classes, integrated analyses of conserved synteny and phylogenetic relationships revealed that the last common ancestor of vertebrates possessed a repertoire of at least seven globin genes: single copies of androglobin and neuroglobin, four paralogous copies of globin X, and the single-copy progenitor of the entire set of vertebrate-specific globins. Combined with expression data, the genomic inventory of elephant shark globins yielded four especially surprising findings: 1) there is no trace of the neuroglobin gene (a highly conserved gene that is present in all other jawed vertebrates that have been examined to date), 2) myoglobin is highly expressed in heart, but not in skeletal muscle (reflecting a possible ancestral condition in vertebrates with single-circuit circulatory systems), 3) elephant shark possesses two highly divergent globin X paralogs, one of which is preferentially expressed in gonads, and 4) elephant shark possesses two structurally distinct α-globin paralogs, one of which is preferentially expressed in the brain. Expression profiles of elephant shark globin genes reveal distinct specializations of function relative to orthologs in bony vertebrates and suggest hypotheses about

  17. Trophic strategies in carnivorous fishes: their significance in energy transfer in the deep-sea benthic ecosystem (Meriadzek Terrace — Bay of Biscay)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahaut, Marie-Laure; Geistdoerfer, Patrick; Sibuet, Myriam

    Trophic relationships between fish species have been analyzed as a contribution to the construction of an energy transfer model between various groups in the benthic ecosystem of Meriadzek Terrace, located at 170 miles off the west French coast at a depth of 2100m. Attention was given to the carnivorous megafaunal compartment. The importance of the carnivore megafaunal biomass and its part in energy transfer is still unresolved. On the Meriadzek Terrace, numerous Chondrichthyes (sharks and chimeroids) were frequently observed from the manned submersible Cyana or by baited camera; their biomass appears to be exceptionally large. Results of a photographic survey conducted using the unmanned free vehicle Epaulard have given estimates of 22 per 10 4m 2 of teleost fishes (belonging to 8 different families and one suborder) but included no Chondrichthyes (except one specimen of Rajidae). From baited camera observations, however, we conclude that carcasses falling to the bottom on the Terrace are exploited only by selacians as the bait was never seen to be eaten by macrourids, morids or synaphobranchids although they always attended the baits before the arrival of large scavengers. Trophic specialization strategies occur in this deep-sea ecosystem and our further studies on the energy transfer model for the Meriadzek Terrace will differentiate between strategies exploiting two sources of organic input to the bottom environment: organic particles and large carcasses. In one case, carbon transfer is via the whole benthic food web in which each link is specified by size and trophic behaviour. This pathway ends in the carnivorous megafaunal compartment, which includes benthic fishes, consumers of the local epibenthic and sometimes inbenthic, macro- and megafauna. The second pathway originates with carcass falls, and carbon transfer is direct to the benthopelagic scavengers observed frequently at the Meriadzek Terrace.

  18. Origin of the response to adrenal and sex steroids: Roles of promiscuity and co-evolution of enzymes and steroid receptors.

    PubMed

    Baker, Michael E; Nelson, David R; Studer, Romain A

    2015-07-01

    Many responses to adrenal and sex steroids are mediated by receptors that belong to the nuclear receptor family of transcription factors. We investigated the co-evolution of these vertebrate steroid receptors and the enzymes that synthesize adrenal and sex steroids through data mining of genomes from cephalochordates [amphioxus], cyclostomes [lampreys, hagfish], chondrichthyes [sharks, rays, skates], actinopterygii [ray-finned fish], sarcopterygii [coelacanths, lungfishes and terrestrial vertebrates]. An ancestor of the estrogen receptor and 3-ketosteroid receptors evolved in amphioxus. A corticoid receptor and a progesterone receptor evolved in cyclostomes, and an androgen receptor evolved in gnathostomes. Amphioxus contains CYP11, CYP17, CYP19, 3β/Δ5-4-HSD and 17β-HSD14, which suffice for the synthesis of estradiol and Δ5-androstenediol. Amphioxus also contains CYP27, which catalyzes the synthesis of 27-hydroxy-cholesterol, another estrogen. Lamprey contains, in addition, CYP21, which catalyzes the synthesis of 11-deoxycortisol. Chondrichthyes contain, in addition, CYP11A, CYP11C, CYP17A1, CYP17A2. Coelacanth also contains CYP11C1, the current descendent from a common ancestor with modern land vertebrate CYP11B genes, which catalyze the synthesis of cortisol, corticosterone and aldosterone. Interestingly, CYP11B2, aldosterone synthase, evolved from separate gene duplications in at least old world monkeys and two suborders of rodents. Sciurognathi (including mice and rats) and Hystricomorpha (including guinea pigs). Thus, steroid receptors and steroidogenic enzymes co-evolved at key transitions in the evolution of vertebrates. Together, this suite of receptors and enzymes through their roles in transcriptional regulation of reproduction, development, homeostasis and the response to stress contributed to the evolutionary diversification of vertebrates. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Steroid/Sterol signaling'.

  19. What is an 'elasmobranch'? The impact of palaeontology in understanding elasmobranch phylogeny and evolution.

    PubMed

    Maisey, J G

    2012-04-01

    The Subclass Elasmobranchii is widely considered nowadays to be the sister group of the Subclass Holocephali, although chimaeroid fishes were originally classified as elasmobranchs along with modern sharks and rays. While this modern systematic treatment provides an accurate reflection of the phylogenetic relationships among extant taxa, the classification of many extinct non-holocephalan shark-like chondrichthyans as elasmobranchs is challenged. A revised, apomorphy-based definition of elasmobranchs is presented in which they are considered the equivalent of neoselachians, i.e. a monophyletic group of modern sharks and rays which not only excludes all stem and crown holocephalans, but also many Palaeozoic shark-like chondrichthyans and even close extinct relatives of neoselachians such as hybodonts. The fossil record of elasmobranchs (i.e. neoselachians) is reviewed, focusing not only on their earliest records but also on their subsequent distribution patterns through time. The value and limitations of the fossil record in answering questions about elasmobranch phylogeny are discussed. Extinction is seen as a major factor in shaping early elasmobranch history, especially during the Triassic. Extinctions may also have helped shape modern lamniform diversity, despite uncertainties surrounding the phylogenetic affinities of supposedly extinct clades such as cretoxyrhinids, anacoracids and odontids. Apart from these examples, and the supposed Cretaceous extinction of 'sclerorhynchids', elasmobranch evolution since the Jurassic has mostly involved increased diversification (especially during the Cretaceous). The biogeographical distribution of early elasmobranchs may be obscured by sampling bias, but the earliest records of numerous groups are located within the Tethyan realm. The break-up of Gondwana, and particularly the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean (together with the development of epicontinental seaways across Brazil and Africa during the Cretaceous

  20. What is an 'elasmobranch'? The impact of palaeontology in understanding elasmobranch phylogeny and evolution.

    PubMed

    Maisey, J G

    2012-04-01

    The Subclass Elasmobranchii is widely considered nowadays to be the sister group of the Subclass Holocephali, although chimaeroid fishes were originally classified as elasmobranchs along with modern sharks and rays. While this modern systematic treatment provides an accurate reflection of the phylogenetic relationships among extant taxa, the classification of many extinct non-holocephalan shark-like chondrichthyans as elasmobranchs is challenged. A revised, apomorphy-based definition of elasmobranchs is presented in which they are considered the equivalent of neoselachians, i.e. a monophyletic group of modern sharks and rays which not only excludes all stem and crown holocephalans, but also many Palaeozoic shark-like chondrichthyans and even close extinct relatives of neoselachians such as hybodonts. The fossil record of elasmobranchs (i.e. neoselachians) is reviewed, focusing not only on their earliest records but also on their subsequent distribution patterns through time. The value and limitations of the fossil record in answering questions about elasmobranch phylogeny are discussed. Extinction is seen as a major factor in shaping early elasmobranch history, especially during the Triassic. Extinctions may also have helped shape modern lamniform diversity, despite uncertainties surrounding the phylogenetic affinities of supposedly extinct clades such as cretoxyrhinids, anacoracids and odontids. Apart from these examples, and the supposed Cretaceous extinction of 'sclerorhynchids', elasmobranch evolution since the Jurassic has mostly involved increased diversification (especially during the Cretaceous). The biogeographical distribution of early elasmobranchs may be obscured by sampling bias, but the earliest records of numerous groups are located within the Tethyan realm. The break-up of Gondwana, and particularly the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean (together with the development of epicontinental seaways across Brazil and Africa during the Cretaceous

  1. Colonization of the deep sea by fishes.

    PubMed

    Priede, I G; Froese, R

    2013-12-01

    Analysis of maximum depth of occurrence of 11 952 marine fish species shows a global decrease in species number (N) with depth (x; m): log10 N = -0·000422x + 3·610000 (r(2)  = 0·948). The rate of decrease is close to global estimates for change in pelagic and benthic biomass with depth (-0·000430), indicating that species richness of fishes may be limited by food energy availability in the deep sea. The slopes for the Classes Myxini (-0·000488) and Actinopterygii (-0·000413) follow this trend but Chondrichthyes decrease more rapidly (-0·000731) implying deficiency in ability to colonize the deep sea. Maximum depths attained are 2743, 4156 and 8370 m for Myxini, Chondrichthyes and Actinopterygii, respectively. Endemic species occur in abundance at 7-7800 m depth in hadal trenches but appear to be absent from the deepest parts of the oceans, >9000 m deep. There have been six global oceanic anoxic events (OAE) since the origin of the major fish taxa in the Devonian c. 400 million years ago (mya). Colonization of the deep sea has taken place largely since the most recent OAE in the Cretaceous 94 mya when the Atlantic Ocean opened up. Patterns of global oceanic circulation oxygenating the deep ocean basins became established coinciding with a period of teleost diversification and appearance of the Acanthopterygii. Within the Actinopterygii, there is a trend for greater invasion of the deep sea by the lower taxa in accordance with the Andriashev paradigm. Here, 31 deep-sea families of Actinopterygii were identified with mean maximum depth >1000 m and with >10 species. Those with most of their constituent species living shallower than 1000 m are proposed as invasive, with extinctions in the deep being continuously balanced by export of species from shallow seas. Specialized families with most species deeper than 1000 m are termed deep-sea endemics in this study; these appear to persist in the deep by virtue of global distribution enabling recovery

  2. Colonization of the deep sea by fishes

    PubMed Central

    Priede, I G; Froese, R

    2013-01-01

    Analysis of maximum depth of occurrence of 11 952 marine fish species shows a global decrease in species number (N) with depth (x; m): log10N = −0·000422x + 3·610000 (r2 = 0·948). The rate of decrease is close to global estimates for change in pelagic and benthic biomass with depth (−0·000430), indicating that species richness of fishes may be limited by food energy availability in the deep sea. The slopes for the Classes Myxini (−0·000488) and Actinopterygii (−0·000413) follow this trend but Chondrichthyes decrease more rapidly (−0·000731) implying deficiency in ability to colonize the deep sea. Maximum depths attained are 2743, 4156 and 8370 m for Myxini, Chondrichthyes and Actinopterygii, respectively. Endemic species occur in abundance at 7–7800 m depth in hadal trenches but appear to be absent from the deepest parts of the oceans, >9000 m deep. There have been six global oceanic anoxic events (OAE) since the origin of the major fish taxa in the Devonian c. 400 million years ago (mya). Colonization of the deep sea has taken place largely since the most recent OAE in the Cretaceous 94 mya when the Atlantic Ocean opened up. Patterns of global oceanic circulation oxygenating the deep ocean basins became established coinciding with a period of teleost diversification and appearance of the Acanthopterygii. Within the Actinopterygii, there is a trend for greater invasion of the deep sea by the lower taxa in accordance with the Andriashev paradigm. Here, 31 deep-sea families of Actinopterygii were identified with mean maximum depth >1000 m and with >10 species. Those with most of their constituent species living shallower than 1000 m are proposed as invasive, with extinctions in the deep being continuously balanced by export of species from shallow seas. Specialized families with most species deeper than 1000 m are termed deep-sea endemics in this study; these appear to persist in the deep by virtue of global distribution enabling

  3. Colonization of the deep sea by fishes.

    PubMed

    Priede, I G; Froese, R

    2013-12-01

    Analysis of maximum depth of occurrence of 11 952 marine fish species shows a global decrease in species number (N) with depth (x; m): log10 N = -0·000422x + 3·610000 (r(2)  = 0·948). The rate of decrease is close to global estimates for change in pelagic and benthic biomass with depth (-0·000430), indicating that species richness of fishes may be limited by food energy availability in the deep sea. The slopes for the Classes Myxini (-0·000488) and Actinopterygii (-0·000413) follow this trend but Chondrichthyes decrease more rapidly (-0·000731) implying deficiency in ability to colonize the deep sea. Maximum depths attained are 2743, 4156 and 8370 m for Myxini, Chondrichthyes and Actinopterygii, respectively. Endemic species occur in abundance at 7-7800 m depth in hadal trenches but appear to be absent from the deepest parts of the oceans, >9000 m deep. There have been six global oceanic anoxic events (OAE) since the origin of the major fish taxa in the Devonian c. 400 million years ago (mya). Colonization of the deep sea has taken place largely since the most recent OAE in the Cretaceous 94 mya when the Atlantic Ocean opened up. Patterns of global oceanic circulation oxygenating the deep ocean basins became established coinciding with a period of teleost diversification and appearance of the Acanthopterygii. Within the Actinopterygii, there is a trend for greater invasion of the deep sea by the lower taxa in accordance with the Andriashev paradigm. Here, 31 deep-sea families of Actinopterygii were identified with mean maximum depth >1000 m and with >10 species. Those with most of their constituent species living shallower than 1000 m are proposed as invasive, with extinctions in the deep being continuously balanced by export of species from shallow seas. Specialized families with most species deeper than 1000 m are termed deep-sea endemics in this study; these appear to persist in the deep by virtue of global distribution enabling recovery

  4. The absence of sharks from abyssal regions of the world's oceans

    PubMed Central

    Priede, Imants G; Froese, Rainer; Bailey, David M; Bergstad, Odd Aksel; Collins, Martin A; Dyb, Jan Erik; Henriques, Camila; Jones, Emma G; King, Nicola

    2006-01-01

    The oceanic abyss (depths greater than 3000 m), one of the largest environments on the planet, is characterized by absence of solar light, high pressures and remoteness from surface food supply necessitating special molecular, physiological, behavioural and ecological adaptations of organisms that live there. Sampling by trawl, baited hooks and cameras we show that the Chondrichthyes (sharks, rays and chimaeras) are absent from, or very rare in this region. Analysis of a global data set shows a trend of rapid disappearance of chondrichthyan species with depth when compared with bony fishes. Sharks, apparently well adapted to life at high pressures are conspicuous on slopes down to 2000 m including scavenging at food falls such as dead whales. We propose that they are excluded from the abyss by high-energy demand, including an oil-rich liver for buoyancy, which cannot be sustained in extreme oligotrophic conditions. Sharks are apparently confined to ca 30% of the total ocean and distribution of many species is fragmented around sea mounts, ocean ridges and ocean margins. All populations are therefore within reach of human fisheries, and there is no hidden reserve of chondrichthyan biomass or biodiversity in the deep sea. Sharks may be more vulnerable to over-exploitation than previously thought. PMID:16777734

  5. Oldest Near-Complete Acanthodian: The First Vertebrate from the Silurian Bertie Formation Konservat-Lagerstätte, Ontario

    PubMed Central

    Burrow, Carole J.; Rudkin, David

    2014-01-01

    Background The relationships between early jawed vertebrates have been much debated, with cladistic analyses yielding little consensus on the position (or positions) of acanthodians with respect to other groups. Whereas one recent analysis showed various acanthodians (classically known as ‘spiny sharks’) as stem osteichthyans (bony fishes) and others as stem chondrichthyans, another shows the acanthodians as a paraphyletic group of stem chondrichthyans, and the latest analysis shows acanthodians as the monophyletic sister group of the Chondrichthyes. Methodology/Principal Findings A small specimen of the ischnacanthiform acanthodian Nerepisacanthus denisoni is the first vertebrate fossil collected from the Late Silurian Bertie Formation Konservat-Lagerstätte of southern Ontario, Canada, a deposit well-known for its spectacular eurypterid fossils. The fish is the only near complete acanthodian from pre-Devonian strata worldwide, and confirms that Nerepisacanthus has dentigerous jaw bones, body scales with superposed crown growth zones formed of ondontocytic mesodentine, and a patch of chondrichthyan-like scales posterior to the jaw joint. Conclusions/Significance The combination of features found in Nerepisacanthus supports the hypothesis that acanthodians could be a group, or even a clade, on the chondrichthyan stem. Cladistic analyses of early jawed vertebrates incorporating Nerepisacanthus, and updated data on other acanthodians based on publications in press, should help clarify their relationships. PMID:25093877

  6. The fish tail as a derivation from axial musculoskeletal anatomy: an integrative analysis of functional morphology.

    PubMed

    Flammang, B E

    2014-02-01

    The adult morphology of the tail varies greatly among extant fishes despite sharing both ontogenetic similarities and the functional need to propel the body through a fluid medium. Both sharks (Chondrichthyes) and ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) control caudal fin musculature independently of axial body myomere activity to modify the stiffness and shape of their tails. For example, sharks and bony fishes possess different structural elements and muscles and move their tails in different ways, resulting in different locomotory hydrodynamic effects and a range of performance variables including speed and maneuverability. The stiffness of the heterocercal, lobate tail of the shark can be modulated during the tail beat resulting in nearly continuous thrust production. In contrast, the highly flexible tail of ray-finned fishes can be manipulated into many different shape conformations enabling increased maneuverability for these fishes. Consequently, the developmental, morphological, and functional derivation of the tail from the axial trunk has resulted in a diversity of form, the attributes of which may be of ecological and evolutionary significance. PMID:24290784

  7. A new basal galeomorph shark (Synechodontiformes, Neoselachii) from the Early Jurassic of Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klug, Stefanie; Kriwet, Jürgen

    2008-05-01

    Palaeospinacids are a group of basal galeomorph sharks and are placed in the order Synechodontiformes (Chondrichthyes, Neoselachii) ranging from the Permian to the Eocene. Currently, there is a controversy concerning the identity of diagnostic characters for distinguishing palaeospinacid genera because of very similar dental morphologies and the scarcity of articulated skeletal material. The most notable character for distinguishing species within the Palaeospinacidae is, however, the dental morphology. The main dental character uniting all palaeospinacids is the very specialised pseudopolyaulacorhize root vascularisation. A re-examination of articulated neoselachian skeletons from the Lower Jurassic of Lyme Regis (England) and Holzmaden (S Germany), and recently discovered specimens from the Upper Jurassic of the Solnhofen area and Nusplingen (S Germany) has yielded several hitherto unrecognised complete skeletons of the palaeospinacids Synechodus and Paraorthacodus enabling a re-evaluation of characters. These specimens indicate that the number of dorsal fins and the presence or absence of dorsal fin spines represent important features for identifying palaeospinacids. Synechodus bears two dorsal fins without fin spines, whereas Paraorthacodus only has a single dorsal fin lacking a fin spine directly in front of the caudal fin. All palaeospinacids from the Early Jurassic have two spines supporting the dorsal fins and are consequently assigned to a new genus, Palidiplospinax nov. gen. Three species are placed into the new taxon: Synechodus enniskilleni, S. occultidens and S. smithwoodwardi.

  8. Evolution of the Vertebrate Resistin Gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Qingda; Tan, Huanran; Irwin, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Resistin (encoded by Retn) was previously identified in rodents as a hormone associated with diabetes; however human resistin is instead linked to inflammation. Resistin is a member of a small gene family that includes the resistin-like peptides (encoded by Retnl genes) in mammals. Genomic searches of available genome sequences of diverse vertebrates and phylogenetic analyses were conducted to determine the size and origin of the resistin-like gene family. Genes encoding peptides similar to resistin were found in Mammalia, Sauria, Amphibia, and Actinistia (coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish), but not in Aves or fish from Actinopterygii, Chondrichthyes, or Agnatha. Retnl originated by duplication and transposition from Retn on the early mammalian lineage after divergence of the platypus, but before the placental and marsupial mammal divergence. The resistin-like gene family illustrates an instance where the locus of origin of duplicated genes can be identified, with Retn continuing to reside at this location. Mammalian species typically have a single copy Retn gene, but are much more variable in their numbers of Retnl genes, ranging from 0 to 9. Since Retn is located at the locus of origin, thus likely retained the ancestral expression pattern, largely maintained its copy number, and did not display accelerated evolution, we suggest that it is more likely to have maintained an ancestral function, while Retnl, which transposed to a new location, displays accelerated evolution, and shows greater variability in gene number, including gene loss, likely evolved new, but potentially lineage-specific, functions. PMID:26076481

  9. Plasma Levels of Nitrite and Nitrate in Early and Recent Classes of Fish

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Donna A; Flood, Mary H; Lewis, Debra A; Miller, Virginia M; Krause, William J

    2008-01-01

    The stable metabolite of nitric oxide in plasma is NOx, the sum of nitrite plus nitrate. Measures of plasma NOx may provide information about the nitric oxide tonus of the entire endothelium including capillary microvessels. Although data are available for mammalian species, plasma NOx measurements in early vertebrate species are scarce. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that plasma NOx would be similar to the NOx in the water environment for fish in early classes (Agnatha and Chondrichthye) and would exceed water NOx levels in the known nitrite-sensitive fish (Osteichthye). Plasma samples were obtained from 18 species of adult fish (n = 167) and from their housing or natural water environment. NOx was measured by using chemiluminescence. Plasma NOx was detected in all species and ranged from 0.5 nmol/ml (skate) to 453.9 nmol/ml (shortnose gar). Average plasma NOx was significantly higher in sea lamprey than in Atlantic hagfish whereas that of little skate was 3-fold lower than in spiny dogfish shark. Plasma NOx differed significantly among early bony fish (paddlefish, pallid sturgeon, gar) yet was similar among modern bony fish, with the exception of rainbow trout. Plasma NOx reflected water NOx in only 2 species (hagfish and shark), and levels did not coincide with nitrite sensitivity. This study provides an expanded comparative view of plasma NOx levels across 3 groups of early fish. The data obtained suggest a nitric oxide system in early and modern fish. PMID:19004368

  10. A Severe Accident Caused by an Ocellate River Stingray (Potamotrygon motoro) in Central Brazil: How Well Do We Really Understand Stingray Venom Chemistry, Envenomation, and Therapeutics?

    PubMed Central

    da Silva, Nelson Jorge; Clementino Ferreira, Kalley Ricardo; Leite Pinto, Raimundo Nonato; Aird, Steven Douglas

    2015-01-01

    Freshwater stingrays cause many serious human injuries, but identification of the offending species is uncommon. The present case involved a large freshwater stingray, Potamotrygon motoro (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae), in the Araguaia River in Tocantins, Brazil. Appropriate first aid was administered within ~15 min, except that an ice pack was applied. Analgesics provided no pain relief, although hot compresses did. Ciprofloxacin therapy commenced after ~18 h and continued seven days. Then antibiotic was suspended; however, after two more days and additional tests, cephalosporin therapy was initiated, and proved successful. Pain worsened despite increasingly powerful analgesics, until debridement of the wound was performed after one month. The wound finally closed ~70 days after the accident, but the patient continued to have problems wearing shoes even eight months later. Chemistry and pharmacology of Potamotrygon venom and mucus, and clinical management of freshwater stingray envenomations are reviewed in light of the present case. Bacterial infections of stingray puncture wounds may account for more long-term morbidity than stingray venom. Simultaneous prophylactic use of multiple antibiotics is recommended for all but the most superficial stingray wounds. Distinguishing relative contributions of venom, mucus, and bacteria will require careful genomic and transcriptomic investigations of stingray tissues and contaminating bacteria. PMID:26094699

  11. Plasma levels of nitrite and nitrate in early and recent classes of fish.

    PubMed

    Williams, Donna A; Flood, Mary H; Lewis, Debra A; Miller, Virginia M; Krause, William J

    2008-10-01

    The stable metabolite of nitric oxide in plasma is NOx, the sum of nitrite plus nitrate. Measures of plasma NOx may provide information about the nitric oxide tonus of the entire endothelium including capillary microvessels. Although data are available for mammalian species, plasma NOx measurements in early vertebrate species are scarce. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that plasma NOx would be similar to the NO in the water environment for fish in early classes (Agnatha and Chondrichthye) and would exceed water NOx levels in the known nitrite-sensitive fish (Osteichthye). Plasma samples were obtained from 18 species of adult fish (n=167) and from their housing or natural water environment. NOx was measured by using chemiluminescence. Plasma NO was detected in all species and ranged from 0.5 nmol/ml (skate) to 453.9 nmol/ml (shortnose gar). Average plasma NOx was significantly higher in sea lamprey than in Atlantic hagfish whereas that of little skate was 3-fold lower than in spiny dogfish shark. Plasma NO differed significantly among early bony fish (paddlefish, pallid sturgeon, gar) yet was similar among modern bony fish, with the exception of rainbow trout. Plasma NOx reflected water NO in only 2 species (hagfish and shark), and levels did not coincide with nitrite sensitivity. This study provides an expanded comparative view of plasma NO, levels across 3 groups of early fish. The data obtained suggest a nitric oxide system in early and modern fish. PMID:19004368

  12. The fish tail as a derivation from axial musculoskeletal anatomy: an integrative analysis of functional morphology.

    PubMed

    Flammang, B E

    2014-02-01

    The adult morphology of the tail varies greatly among extant fishes despite sharing both ontogenetic similarities and the functional need to propel the body through a fluid medium. Both sharks (Chondrichthyes) and ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) control caudal fin musculature independently of axial body myomere activity to modify the stiffness and shape of their tails. For example, sharks and bony fishes possess different structural elements and muscles and move their tails in different ways, resulting in different locomotory hydrodynamic effects and a range of performance variables including speed and maneuverability. The stiffness of the heterocercal, lobate tail of the shark can be modulated during the tail beat resulting in nearly continuous thrust production. In contrast, the highly flexible tail of ray-finned fishes can be manipulated into many different shape conformations enabling increased maneuverability for these fishes. Consequently, the developmental, morphological, and functional derivation of the tail from the axial trunk has resulted in a diversity of form, the attributes of which may be of ecological and evolutionary significance.

  13. Mechanics of biting in great white and sandtiger sharks.

    PubMed

    Ferrara, T L; Clausen, P; Huber, D R; McHenry, C R; Peddemors, V; Wroe, S

    2011-02-01

    Although a strong correlation between jaw mechanics and prey selection has been demonstrated in bony fishes (Osteichthyes), how jaw mechanics influence feeding performance in cartilaginous fishes (Chondrichthyes) remains unknown. Hence, tooth shape has been regarded as a primary predictor of feeding behavior in sharks. Here we apply Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to examine form and function in the jaws of two threatened shark species, the great white (Carcharodon carcharias) and the sandtiger (Carcharias taurus). These species possess characteristic tooth shapes believed to reflect dietary preferences. We show that the jaws of sandtigers and great whites are adapted for rapid closure and generation of maximum bite force, respectively, and that these functional differences are consistent with diet and dentition. Our results suggest that in both taxa, insertion of jaw adductor muscles on a central tendon functions to straighten and sustain muscle fibers to nearly orthogonal insertion angles as the mouth opens. We argue that this jaw muscle arrangement allows high bite forces to be maintained across a wider range of gape angles than observed in mammalian models. Finally, our data suggest that the jaws of sub-adult great whites are mechanically vulnerable when handling large prey. In addition to ontogenetic changes in dentition, further mineralization of the jaws may be required to effectively feed on marine mammals. Our study is the first comparative FEA of the jaws for any fish species. Results highlight the potential of FEA for testing previously intractable questions regarding feeding mechanisms in sharks and other vertebrates. PMID:21129747

  14. The absence of sharks from abyssal regions of the world's oceans.

    PubMed

    Priede, Imants G; Froese, Rainer; Bailey, David M; Bergstad, Odd Aksel; Collins, Martin A; Dyb, Jan Erik; Henriques, Camila; Jones, Emma G; King, Nicola

    2006-06-01

    The oceanic abyss (depths greater than 3000 m), one of the largest environments on the planet, is characterized by absence of solar light, high pressures and remoteness from surface food supply necessitating special molecular, physiological, behavioural and ecological adaptations of organisms that live there. Sampling by trawl, baited hooks and cameras we show that the Chondrichthyes (sharks, rays and chimaeras) are absent from, or very rare in this region. Analysis of a global data set shows a trend of rapid disappearance of chondrichthyan species with depth when compared with bony fishes. Sharks, apparently well adapted to life at high pressures are conspicuous on slopes down to 2000 m including scavenging at food falls such as dead whales. We propose that they are excluded from the abyss by high-energy demand, including an oil-rich liver for buoyancy, which cannot be sustained in extreme oligotrophic conditions. Sharks are apparently confined to ca 30% of the total ocean and distribution of many species is fragmented around sea mounts, ocean ridges and ocean margins. All populations are therefore within reach of human fisheries, and there is no hidden reserve of chondrichthyan biomass or biodiversity in the deep sea. Sharks may be more vulnerable to over-exploitation than previously thought. PMID:16777734

  15. Mechanics of biting in great white and sandtiger sharks.

    PubMed

    Ferrara, T L; Clausen, P; Huber, D R; McHenry, C R; Peddemors, V; Wroe, S

    2011-02-01

    Although a strong correlation between jaw mechanics and prey selection has been demonstrated in bony fishes (Osteichthyes), how jaw mechanics influence feeding performance in cartilaginous fishes (Chondrichthyes) remains unknown. Hence, tooth shape has been regarded as a primary predictor of feeding behavior in sharks. Here we apply Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to examine form and function in the jaws of two threatened shark species, the great white (Carcharodon carcharias) and the sandtiger (Carcharias taurus). These species possess characteristic tooth shapes believed to reflect dietary preferences. We show that the jaws of sandtigers and great whites are adapted for rapid closure and generation of maximum bite force, respectively, and that these functional differences are consistent with diet and dentition. Our results suggest that in both taxa, insertion of jaw adductor muscles on a central tendon functions to straighten and sustain muscle fibers to nearly orthogonal insertion angles as the mouth opens. We argue that this jaw muscle arrangement allows high bite forces to be maintained across a wider range of gape angles than observed in mammalian models. Finally, our data suggest that the jaws of sub-adult great whites are mechanically vulnerable when handling large prey. In addition to ontogenetic changes in dentition, further mineralization of the jaws may be required to effectively feed on marine mammals. Our study is the first comparative FEA of the jaws for any fish species. Results highlight the potential of FEA for testing previously intractable questions regarding feeding mechanisms in sharks and other vertebrates.

  16. Basal Gnathostomes Provide Unique Insights into the Evolution of Vitamin B12 Binders

    PubMed Central

    Lopes-Marques, Mónica; Ruivo, Raquel; Delgado, Inês; Wilson, Jonathan M.; Aluru, Neelakanteswar; Castro, L. Filipe C.

    2015-01-01

    The uptake and transport of vitamin B12 (cobalamin; Cbl) in mammals involves a refined system with three evolutionarily related transporters: transcobalamin 1 (Tcn1), transcobalamin 2 (Tcn2), and the gastric intrinsic factor (Gif). Teleosts have a single documented binder with intermediate features to the human counterparts. Consequently, it has been proposed that the expansion of Cbl binders occurred after the separation of Actinopterygians. Here, we demonstrate that the diversification of this gene family took place earlier in gnathostome ancestry. Our data indicates the presence of single copy orthologs of the Sarcopterygii/Tetrapoda duplicates Tcn1 and Gif, and Tcn2, in Chondrichthyes. In addition, a highly divergent Cbl binder was found in the Elasmobranchii. We unveil a complex scenario forged by genome, tandem duplications and lineage-specific gene loss. Our findings suggest that from an ancestral transporter, exhibiting large spectrum and high affinity binding, highly specific Cbl transporters emerged through gene duplication and mutations at the binding pocket. PMID:25552533

  17. Acanthodes and shark-like conditions in the last common ancestor of modern gnathostomes.

    PubMed

    Davis, Samuel P; Finarelli, John A; Coates, Michael I

    2012-06-14

    Acanthodians, an exclusively Palaeozoic group of fish, are central to a renewed debate on the origin of modern gnathostomes: jawed vertebrates comprising Chondrichthyes (sharks, rays and ratfish) and Osteichthyes (bony fishes and tetrapods). Acanthodian internal anatomy is primarily understood from Acanthodes bronni because it remains the only example preserved in substantial detail, central to which is an ostensibly osteichthyan braincase. For this reason, Acanthodes has become an indispensible component in early gnathostome phylogenies. Here we present a new description of the Acanthodes braincase, yielding new details of external and internal morphology, notably the regions surrounding and within the ear capsule and neurocranial roof. These data contribute to a new reconstruction that, unexpectedly, resembles early chondrichthyan crania. Principal coordinates analysis of a character-taxon matrix including these new data confirms this impression: Acanthodes is quantifiably closer to chondrichthyans than to osteichthyans. However, phylogenetic analysis places Acanthodes on the osteichthyan stem, as part of a well-resolved tree that also recovers acanthodians as stem chondrichthyans and stem gnathostomes. As such, perceived chondrichthyan features of the Acanthodes cranium represent shared primitive conditions for crown group gnathostomes. Moreover, this increasingly detailed picture of early gnathostome evolution highlights ongoing and profound anatomical reorganization of vertebrate crania after the origin of jaws but before the divergence of living clades. PMID:22699617

  18. Lesser known aquarium fish tumor models.

    PubMed

    Harshbarger, J C; Slatick, M S

    2001-06-01

    The repeated use of particular species for experimental oncology in fish increases their future value by accumulating background information for these models and justifies the establishment of genetic stock centers. However, the wide diversity that exists within the class Osteichthyes and Chondrichthyes suggests that the ideal surrogate models for studying some types of neoplasms might be found among lesser known species. To help assess cultured fish as surrogates for some other types of human neoplasia, we examined cases in the archives of the Registry of Tumors in Lower Animals and reviewed reports in the literature. Spontaneous and induced neoplasms originating from a spectrum of cell types were seen in more than 215 fish species commonly raised in aquaria or cultured for study among 69 families. Prominent families include the Poeciliidae (livebearers), Cyprinidae (carps and minnows), Cichlidae (cichlids), Cyprinodontidae (killifish), Characidae (tetras), Adrianichthyidae (medakas), Aplocheilidae (rivulins), and Salmonidae (salmon and trout). The following are examples of potential fish tumor models that have received less consideration than some others: papilloma and carcinoma of the urinary bladder in oscar (Astronotus ocellatus); osteogenic neoplasms, peripheral nerve sheath tumors, and ependymoblastoma in coho salmon fingerlings (Oncorhynchus kisutch); and nephroblastoma resembling Wilms' tumor in Japanese eels (Anguilla japonica). PMID:14961307

  19. A Severe Accident Caused by an Ocellate River Stingray (Potamotrygon motoro) in Central Brazil: How Well Do We Really Understand Stingray Venom Chemistry, Envenomation, and Therapeutics?

    PubMed

    da Silva, Nelson Jorge; Ferreira, Kalley Ricardo Clementino; Pinto, Raimundo Nonato Leite; Aird, Steven Douglas

    2015-06-01

    Freshwater stingrays cause many serious human injuries, but identification of the offending species is uncommon. The present case involved a large freshwater stingray, Potamotrygon motoro (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae), in the Araguaia River in Tocantins, Brazil. Appropriate first aid was administered within ~15 min, except that an ice pack was applied. Analgesics provided no pain relief, although hot compresses did. Ciprofloxacin therapy commenced after ~18 h and continued seven days. Then antibiotic was suspended; however, after two more days and additional tests, cephalosporin therapy was initiated, and proved successful. Pain worsened despite increasingly powerful analgesics, until debridement of the wound was performed after one month. The wound finally closed ~70 days after the accident, but the patient continued to have problems wearing shoes even eight months later. Chemistry and pharmacology of Potamotrygon venom and mucus, and clinical management of freshwater stingray envenomations are reviewed in light of the present case. Bacterial infections of stingray puncture wounds may account for more long-term morbidity than stingray venom. Simultaneous prophylactic use of multiple antibiotics is recommended for all but the most superficial stingray wounds. Distinguishing relative contributions of venom, mucus, and bacteria will require careful genomic and transcriptomic investigations of stingray tissues and contaminating bacteria. PMID:26094699

  20. Placoderm fishes, pharyngeal denticles, and the vertebrate dentition.

    PubMed

    Johanson, Zerina; Smith, Moya M

    2003-09-01

    The correlation of the origin of teeth with jaws in vertebrate history has recently been challenged with an alternative to the canonical view of teeth deriving from separate skin denticles. This alternative proposes that organized denticle whorls on the pharyngeal (gill) arches in the fossil jawless fish Loganellia are precursors to tooth families developing from a dental lamina along the jaw, such as those occurring in sharks, acanthodians, and bony fishes. This not only indicates that homologs of tooth families were present, but also illustrates that they possessed the relevant developmental controls, prior to the evolution of jaws. However, in the Placodermi, a phylogenetically basal group of jawed fishes, the state of pharyngeal denticles is poorly known, tooth whorls are absent, and the presence of teeth homologous to those in extant jawed fishes (Chondrichthyes + Osteichthyes) is controversial. Thus, placoderms would seem to provide little evidence for the early evolution of dentitions, or of denticle whorls, or tooth families, at the base of the clade of jawed fishes. However, organized denticles do occur at the rear of the placoderm gill chamber, but are associated with the postbranchial lamina of the anterior trunkshield, assumed to be part of the dermal cover. Significantly, these denticles have a different organization and morphology relative to the external dermal trunkshield tubercles. We propose that they represent a denticulate part of the visceral skeleton, under the influence of pharyngeal patterning controls comparable to those for pharyngeal denticles in other jawed vertebrates and Loganellia.

  1. Evolution of the Vertebrate Resistin Gene Family.

    PubMed

    Hu, Qingda; Tan, Huanran; Irwin, David M

    2015-01-01

    Resistin (encoded by Retn) was previously identified in rodents as a hormone associated with diabetes; however human resistin is instead linked to inflammation. Resistin is a member of a small gene family that includes the resistin-like peptides (encoded by Retnl genes) in mammals. Genomic searches of available genome sequences of diverse vertebrates and phylogenetic analyses were conducted to determine the size and origin of the resistin-like gene family. Genes encoding peptides similar to resistin were found in Mammalia, Sauria, Amphibia, and Actinistia (coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish), but not in Aves or fish from Actinopterygii, Chondrichthyes, or Agnatha. Retnl originated by duplication and transposition from Retn on the early mammalian lineage after divergence of the platypus, but before the placental and marsupial mammal divergence. The resistin-like gene family illustrates an instance where the locus of origin of duplicated genes can be identified, with Retn continuing to reside at this location. Mammalian species typically have a single copy Retn gene, but are much more variable in their numbers of Retnl genes, ranging from 0 to 9. Since Retn is located at the locus of origin, thus likely retained the ancestral expression pattern, largely maintained its copy number, and did not display accelerated evolution, we suggest that it is more likely to have maintained an ancestral function, while Retnl, which transposed to a new location, displays accelerated evolution, and shows greater variability in gene number, including gene loss, likely evolved new, but potentially lineage-specific, functions. PMID:26076481

  2. Effects of urea on the molecules involved in the olfactory signal transduction: a preliminary study on Danio rerio.

    PubMed

    Ferrando, Sara; Gallus, Lorenzo; Gambardella, Chiara; Marchesotti, Emiliano; Ravera, Silvia; Franceschini, Valeria; Masini, Maria Angela

    2014-12-01

    Among vertebrates, the physiologically uremic Chondrichthyes are the only class which are not presenting the ciliated olfactory receptor neurons in the olfactory neuroepithelium. The only sequenced genome for this class revealed only three olfactory receptor genes and the immunohistochemical detection of G protein alpha subunit typically coupled to the olfactory receptors (Gα(olf)) failed in different species. Chronic renal disease can represent a cause of olfactory impairment in human. In this context, our present study focused on investigating potential effects of high urea concentration on the olfactory epithelium of vertebrates. Larvae of the teleost fish Danio rerio were exposed to urea in order to assess the effects on the olfactory signal transduction; in particular on both the olfactory receptors and the Gα(olf). The endocytosis of neutral red dye in the olfactory mucosa was detected in control and urea-exposed larvae. The amount of neutral red dye uptake was used as a marker of binding and internalization of the Gα(olf). The neutral red dye endocytosis was not affected by urea exposure, hence suggesting that the presence of the Gα(olf) and their binding to the odorants are not affected by urea treatment, either. The presence and distribution of Gα(olf) were investigated in the olfactory epithelium of control and urea-exposed larvae, using a commercial antibody. The immunoreactivity was increased after urea treatment, suggesting an effect of urea on the expression or degradation of this G protein alpha subunit.

  3. Evolutionary Relations of Hexanchiformes Deep-Sea Sharks Elucidated by Whole Mitochondrial Genome Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Keiko; Tomita, Taketeru; Suzuki, Shingo; Hosomichi, Kazuyoshi; Sano, Kazumi; Doi, Hiroyuki; Kono, Azumi; Inoko, Hidetoshi; Kulski, Jerzy K.; Tanaka, Sho

    2013-01-01

    Hexanchiformes is regarded as a monophyletic taxon, but the morphological and genetic relationships between the five extant species within the order are still uncertain. In this study, we determined the whole mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of seven sharks including representatives of the five Hexanchiformes, one squaliform, and one carcharhiniform and inferred the phylogenetic relationships among those species and 12 other Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes) species for which the complete mitogenome is available. The monophyly of Hexanchiformes and its close relation with all other Squaliformes sharks were strongly supported by likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of 13,749 aligned nucleotides of 13 protein coding genes and two rRNA genes that were derived from the whole mDNA sequences of the 19 species. The phylogeny suggested that Hexanchiformes is in the superorder Squalomorphi, Chlamydoselachus anguineus (frilled shark) is the sister species to all other Hexanchiformes, and the relations within Hexanchiformes are well resolved as Chlamydoselachus, (Notorynchus, (Heptranchias, (Hexanchus griseus, H. nakamurai))). Based on our phylogeny, we discussed evolutionary scenarios of the jaw suspension mechanism and gill slit numbers that are significant features in the sharks. PMID:24089661

  4. Drastic neofunctionalization associated with evolution of the timezyme AANAT 500 Mya.

    PubMed

    Falcón, Jack; Coon, Steven L; Besseau, Laurence; Cazaméa-Catalan, Damien; Fuentès, Michaël; Magnanou, Elodie; Paulin, Charles-Hubert; Boeuf, Gilles; Sauzet, Sandrine; Jørgensen, Even H; Mazan, Sylvie; Wolf, Yuri I; Koonin, Eugene V; Steinbach, Peter J; Hyodo, Susumu; Klein, David C

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytrypamine) is the vertebrate hormone of the night: circulating levels at night are markedly higher than day levels. This increase is driven by precisely regulated increases in acetylation of serotonin in the pineal gland by arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT), the penultimate enzyme in the synthesis of melatonin. This unique essential role of AANAT in vertebrate timekeeping is recognized by the moniker the timezyme. AANAT is also found in the retina, where melatonin is thought to play a paracrine role. Here, we focused on the evolution of AANAT in early vertebrates. AANATs from Agnathans (lamprey) and Chondrichthyes (catshark and elephant shark) were cloned, and it was found that pineal glands and retinas from these groups express a form of AANAT that is compositionally, biochemically, and kinetically similar to AANATs found in bony vertebrates (VT-AANAT). Examination of the available genomes indicates that VT-AANAT is absent from other forms of life, including the Cephalochordate amphioxus. Phylogenetic analysis and evolutionary rate estimation indicate that VT-AANAT evolved from the nonvertebrate form of AANAT after the Cephalochordate-Vertebrate split over one-half billion years ago. The emergence of VT-AANAT apparently involved a dramatic acceleration of evolution that accompanied neofunctionalization after a duplication of the nonvertebrate AANAT gene. This scenario is consistent with the hypotheses that the advent of VT-AANAT contributed to the evolution of the pineal gland and lateral eyes from a common ancestral photodetector and that it was not a posthoc recruitment.

  5. On the haptic nature of the active electric sense of fish.

    PubMed

    Caputi, Angel A; Aguilera, Pedro A; Carolina Pereira, Ana; Rodríguez-Cattáneo, Alejo

    2013-11-01

    Electroreception is a sensory modality present in chondrichthyes, actinopterygii, amphibians, and mammalian monotremes. The study of this non-intuitive sensory modality has provided insights for better understanding of sensory systems in general and inspired the development of innovative artificial devices. Here we review evidence obtained from the analysis of electrosensory images, neurophysiological data from the recording of unitary activity in the electrosensory lobe, and psychophysical data from analysis of novelty responses provoked in well-defined stimulus conditions, which all confirm that active electroreception has a short range, and that the influence of exploratory movements on object identification is strong. In active electric images two components can be identified: a "global" image profile depending on the volume, shape and global impedance of an object and a "texture" component depending on its surface attributes. There is a short range of the active electric sense and the progressive "blurring" of object image with distance. Consequently, the lack of precision regarding object location, considered together, challenge the current view of this sense as serving long range electrolocation and the commonly used metaphor of "electric vision". In fact, the active electric sense shares more commonalities with human active touch than with teleceptive senses as vision or audition. Taking into account that other skin exteroceptors and proprioception may be congruently stimulated during fish exploratory movements we propose that electric, mechanoceptive and proprioceptive sensory modalities found in electric fish could be considered together as a single haptic sensory system. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Neural Coding 2012.

  6. Early development of rostrum saw-teeth in a fossil ray tests classical theories of the evolution of vertebrate dentitions.

    PubMed

    Smith, Moya Meredith; Riley, Alex; Fraser, Gareth J; Underwood, Charlie; Welten, Monique; Kriwet, Jürgen; Pfaff, Cathrin; Johanson, Zerina

    2015-10-01

    In classical theory, teeth of vertebrate dentitions evolved from co-option of external skin denticles into the oral cavity. This hypothesis predicts that ordered tooth arrangement and regulated replacement in the oral dentition were also derived from skin denticles. The fossil batoid ray Schizorhiza stromeri (Chondrichthyes; Cretaceous) provides a test of this theory. Schizorhiza preserves an extended cartilaginous rostrum with closely spaced, alternating saw-teeth, different from sawfish and sawsharks today. Multiple replacement teeth reveal unique new data from micro-CT scanning, showing how the 'cone-in-cone' series of ordered saw-teeth sets arrange themselves developmentally, to become enclosed by the roots of pre-existing saw-teeth. At the rostrum tip, newly developing saw-teeth are present, as mineralized crown tips within a vascular, cartilaginous furrow; these reorient via two 90° rotations then relocate laterally between previously formed roots. Saw-tooth replacement slows mid-rostrum where fewer saw-teeth are regenerated. These exceptional developmental data reveal regulated order for serial self-renewal, maintaining the saw edge with ever-increasing saw-tooth size. This mimics tooth replacement in chondrichthyans, but differs in the crown reorientation and their enclosure directly between roots of predecessor saw-teeth. Schizorhiza saw-tooth development is decoupled from the jaw teeth and their replacement, dependent on a dental lamina. This highly specialized rostral saw, derived from diversification of skin denticles, is distinct from the dentition and demonstrates the potential developmental plasticity of skin denticles.

  7. [Blood supply of the compact and spongy myocardium of fish, amphibia and reptiles].

    PubMed

    Romenskiĭ, O Iu

    1978-07-01

    Coronal arteries were injected with lead carbonate suspension and with Indian ink and cleared preparations 150--300 mkm thick were made in 195 hearts of fish, amphibians and reptiles and studied roentgenographically. It was stated that in Chondrichthyes (shark, skate) and in Chondrostei (beluga, stellate sturgeon, sturgeon), as well as in alligator both compact and spongy myocardium of the cardiac ventricle possess blood vessels. In teleostei, amphibians and reptiles (except alligator) spongy myocardium is avascular and receives its nutrition from the ventricle. In view of the data on the presence of blood vessels in the spongy myocardium in some vertebrates, it is impossible to accept the theory suggested by Grant and Regnier according to which vessels in the heart walls appear only in connection with compactization of the myocardium. Vascularization of the spongy myocardium is closely connected with oxygen saturation of the blood flowing through the heart. When this saturation is not satisfactory, the spongy myocardium has blood vessels. In alligator, vascularization of the spongy myocardium is connected with the fact that the heart has four chambers and there are arterial and venous blood streams.

  8. The myoseptal system in Chimaera monstrosa: collagenous fiber architecture and its evolution in the gnathostome stem lineage.

    PubMed

    Gemballa, Sven; Hagen, Katja

    2004-01-01

    Recent studies have revealed the 3D morphology and collagen fiber architecture of myosepta in teleostome fishes. Here we present the first data set on the myoseptal structure of a representative of the chondrichthyan clade. We investigate the series of myosepta in the ratfish Chimaera monstrosa (Holocephali) from the anterior to the posterior body using microdissections of cleared and stained specimens, polarized light microscopy of excised myosepta, and histology. The features of the myoseptal system of Chimaera are compared to data from closely related vertebrate groups and are mapped onto a phylogenetic tree to further clarify the characteristics of the myoseptal series in the gnathostome ancestor. The 3D morphology and collagen fiber architecture of the myoseptal series in C. monstrosa resembles that of Teleostomi (Actinopterygii+Sarcopterygii) with regard to several features. Our comparative analysis reveals that some of them have evolved in the gnathostome stem lineage. (1) A series of epineural and epaxial lateral tendons (LTs) along the whole body, and a series of epipleural and hypaxial LTs in the postanal region evolved in the gnathostome stem lineage. (2) The LTs increase in length towards the posterior body (three-fold in Chimaera). Data on Chimaera and some comparative data on actinopterygian fishes indicate that LTs also increase in thickness towards the posterior body, but further data are necessary to test whether this holds true generally. (3) Another conspicuous apomorphic gnathostome feature is represented by multi-layer structures of myosepta. These are formed along the vertebral column by converging medial regions of successive sloping parts of myosepta. (4) The dorsalmost and ventralmost flanking parts of myosepta bear a set of mediolaterally oriented collagen fibers that are present in all gnathostomes but are lacking in outgroups. Preanal hypaxial myosepta are clearly different from epaxial myosepta and postanal hypaxial myosepta in terms of

  9. First Shark from the Late Devonian (Frasnian) Gogo Formation, Western Australia Sheds New Light on the Development of Tessellated Calcified Cartilage

    PubMed Central

    Long, John A.; Burrow, Carole J.; Ginter, Michal; Maisey, John G.; Trinajstic, Kate M.; Coates, Michael I.; Young, Gavin C.; Senden, Tim J.

    2015-01-01

    Background Living gnathostomes (jawed vertebrates) comprise two divisions, Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes, including euchondrichthyans with prismatic calcified cartilage, and extinct stem chondrichthyans) and Osteichthyes (bony fishes including tetrapods). Most of the early chondrichthyan (‘shark’) record is based upon isolated teeth, spines, and scales, with the oldest articulated sharks that exhibit major diagnostic characters of the group—prismatic calcified cartilage and pelvic claspers in males—being from the latest Devonian, c. 360 Mya. This paucity of information about early chondrichthyan anatomy is mainly due to their lack of endoskeletal bone and consequent low preservation potential. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we present new data from the first well-preserved chondrichthyan fossil from the early Late Devonian (ca. 380–384 Mya) Gogo Formation Lägerstatte of Western Australia. The specimen is the first Devonian shark body fossil to be acid-prepared, revealing the endoskeletal elements as three-dimensional undistorted units: Meckel’s cartilages, nasal, ceratohyal, basibranchial and possible epibranchial cartilages, plus left and right scapulocoracoids, as well as teeth and scales. This unique specimen is assigned to Gogoselachus lynnbeazleyae n. gen. n. sp. Conclusions/Significance The Meckel’s cartilages show a jaw articulation surface dominated by an expansive cotylus, and a small mandibular knob, an unusual condition for chondrichthyans. The scapulocoracoid of the new specimen shows evidence of two pectoral fin basal articulation facets, differing from the standard condition for early gnathostomes which have either one or three articulations. The tooth structure is intermediate between the ‘primitive’ ctenacanthiform and symmoriiform condition, and more derived forms with a euselachian-type base. Of special interest is the highly distinctive type of calcified cartilage forming the endoskeleton, comprising multiple layers

  10. Drastic neofunctionalization associated with evolution of the timezyme AANAT 500 Mya.

    PubMed

    Falcón, Jack; Coon, Steven L; Besseau, Laurence; Cazaméa-Catalan, Damien; Fuentès, Michaël; Magnanou, Elodie; Paulin, Charles-Hubert; Boeuf, Gilles; Sauzet, Sandrine; Jørgensen, Even H; Mazan, Sylvie; Wolf, Yuri I; Koonin, Eugene V; Steinbach, Peter J; Hyodo, Susumu; Klein, David C

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytrypamine) is the vertebrate hormone of the night: circulating levels at night are markedly higher than day levels. This increase is driven by precisely regulated increases in acetylation of serotonin in the pineal gland by arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT), the penultimate enzyme in the synthesis of melatonin. This unique essential role of AANAT in vertebrate timekeeping is recognized by the moniker the timezyme. AANAT is also found in the retina, where melatonin is thought to play a paracrine role. Here, we focused on the evolution of AANAT in early vertebrates. AANATs from Agnathans (lamprey) and Chondrichthyes (catshark and elephant shark) were cloned, and it was found that pineal glands and retinas from these groups express a form of AANAT that is compositionally, biochemically, and kinetically similar to AANATs found in bony vertebrates (VT-AANAT). Examination of the available genomes indicates that VT-AANAT is absent from other forms of life, including the Cephalochordate amphioxus. Phylogenetic analysis and evolutionary rate estimation indicate that VT-AANAT evolved from the nonvertebrate form of AANAT after the Cephalochordate-Vertebrate split over one-half billion years ago. The emergence of VT-AANAT apparently involved a dramatic acceleration of evolution that accompanied neofunctionalization after a duplication of the nonvertebrate AANAT gene. This scenario is consistent with the hypotheses that the advent of VT-AANAT contributed to the evolution of the pineal gland and lateral eyes from a common ancestral photodetector and that it was not a posthoc recruitment. PMID:24351931

  11. Drastic neofunctionalization associated with evolution of the timezyme AANAT 500 Mya

    PubMed Central

    Falcón, Jack; Coon, Steven L.; Besseau, Laurence; Cazaméa-Catalan, Damien; Fuentès, Michaël; Magnanou, Elodie; Paulin, Charles-Hubert; Boeuf, Gilles; Sauzet, Sandrine; Jørgensen, Even H.; Mazan, Sylvie; Wolf, Yuri I.; Koonin, Eugene V.; Steinbach, Peter J.; Hyodo, Susumu; Klein, David C.

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytrypamine) is the vertebrate hormone of the night: circulating levels at night are markedly higher than day levels. This increase is driven by precisely regulated increases in acetylation of serotonin in the pineal gland by arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT), the penultimate enzyme in the synthesis of melatonin. This unique essential role of AANAT in vertebrate timekeeping is recognized by the moniker the timezyme. AANAT is also found in the retina, where melatonin is thought to play a paracrine role. Here, we focused on the evolution of AANAT in early vertebrates. AANATs from Agnathans (lamprey) and Chondrichthyes (catshark and elephant shark) were cloned, and it was found that pineal glands and retinas from these groups express a form of AANAT that is compositionally, biochemically, and kinetically similar to AANATs found in bony vertebrates (VT-AANAT). Examination of the available genomes indicates that VT-AANAT is absent from other forms of life, including the Cephalochordate amphioxus. Phylogenetic analysis and evolutionary rate estimation indicate that VT-AANAT evolved from the nonvertebrate form of AANAT after the Cephalochordate–Vertebrate split over one-half billion years ago. The emergence of VT-AANAT apparently involved a dramatic acceleration of evolution that accompanied neofunctionalization after a duplication of the nonvertebrate AANAT gene. This scenario is consistent with the hypotheses that the advent of VT-AANAT contributed to the evolution of the pineal gland and lateral eyes from a common ancestral photodetector and that it was not a posthoc recruitment. PMID:24351931

  12. On the haptic nature of the active electric sense of fish.

    PubMed

    Caputi, Angel A; Aguilera, Pedro A; Carolina Pereira, Ana; Rodríguez-Cattáneo, Alejo

    2013-11-01

    Electroreception is a sensory modality present in chondrichthyes, actinopterygii, amphibians, and mammalian monotremes. The study of this non-intuitive sensory modality has provided insights for better understanding of sensory systems in general and inspired the development of innovative artificial devices. Here we review evidence obtained from the analysis of electrosensory images, neurophysiological data from the recording of unitary activity in the electrosensory lobe, and psychophysical data from analysis of novelty responses provoked in well-defined stimulus conditions, which all confirm that active electroreception has a short range, and that the influence of exploratory movements on object identification is strong. In active electric images two components can be identified: a "global" image profile depending on the volume, shape and global impedance of an object and a "texture" component depending on its surface attributes. There is a short range of the active electric sense and the progressive "blurring" of object image with distance. Consequently, the lack of precision regarding object location, considered together, challenge the current view of this sense as serving long range electrolocation and the commonly used metaphor of "electric vision". In fact, the active electric sense shares more commonalities with human active touch than with teleceptive senses as vision or audition. Taking into account that other skin exteroceptors and proprioception may be congruently stimulated during fish exploratory movements we propose that electric, mechanoceptive and proprioceptive sensory modalities found in electric fish could be considered together as a single haptic sensory system. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Neural Coding 2012. PMID:23727613

  13. Re-evaluation of batoid pectoral morphology reveals novel patterns of diversity among major lineages.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Christopher M; Rohlf, F James; Frisk, Michael G

    2016-04-01

    Batoids (Chondrichthyes: Batoidea) are a diverse group of cartilaginous fishes which comprise a monophyletic sister lineage to all neoselachians or modern sharks. All species in this group possess anteroposteriorly expanded-pectoral fins, giving them a unique disc-like body form. Reliance on pectoral fins for propulsion ranges from minimal (sawfish) to almost complete dependence (skates and rays). A recent study on the diversity of planform pectoral fin shape in batoids compared overall patterns of morphological variation within the group. However, inconsistent pectoral homology prevented the study from accurately representing relationships within and among major batoid taxa. With previous work in mind, we undertook an independent investigation of pectoral form in batoids and evaluated the implications of shape diversity on locomotion and lifestyle, particularly in the skates (Rajoidei) and rays (Myliobatoidei). We used geometric morphometrics with sliding semilandmarks to analyze pectoral fin outlines and also calculate fin aspect ratios (AR), a functional trait linked to locomotion. In agreement with previous work, our results indicated that much of the evolution of batoid pectoral shape has occurred along a morphological axis that is closely related to AR. For species where kinematic data were available, both shape and AR were associated with swimming mode. This work further revealed novel patterns of shape variation among batoids, including strong bimodality of shape in rays, an intermediate location of skate species in the morphospace between benthic/demersal and pelagic rays, and approximately parallel shape trajectories in the benthic/demersal rays and skates. Finally, manipulation of landmarks verified the need for a consistent and accurate definition of homology for the outcome and efficacy of analyses of pectoral form and function in batoids. PMID:26869186

  14. Devonian (Emsian-Eifelian) fish from the Lower Bokkeveld Group (Ceres Subgroup), South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, M. E.; Almond, J. E.; Evans, F. J.; Long, J. A.

    1999-07-01

    Four major groups of fish are represented by fragmentary remains from South Africa's Lower Bokkeveld Group of Early to Middle Devonian age: the Acanthodii, Chondrichthyes, Placodermi and Osteichthyes. These represent the oldest known occurrences of these groups in southern Africa, as well as an important addition to the very meagre record of earlier Devonian fish from the Malvinokaffric Province of southwestern Gondwana. Bokkeveld fish material comes from the Gydo (Late Emsian) and Tra Tra (Middle Eifelian) Formations of the Western Cape and Eastern Cape Provinces. The cosmopolitan marine acanthodian Machæracanthus is represented only by isolated fin spines which may belong to two different species on the basis of their external ornamentation, cross-sectional outline and internal histology. The elasmobranchs are represented by four elements: (1) a flattened chondrocranium which bears affinity to the Late Devonian-Carboniferous symmoriid (protacrodont) 'cladodont' sharks. It is probably the earliest known (Emsian) shark chondrocranium; (2) an isolated, primitive scapulocoracoid with a very short coracoidal ridge; (3) ankylosed and isolated radials, interpreted as parts of pterygial plates of a paired fin of an unknown chondrichthyan bearing affinity to the Middle Devonian Zamponiopteron from Bolivia; and (4) isolated barlike structures, perhaps gill arch or a jaw elements, thought to be from the same taxon as (3). The placoderms are represented by an incomplete trunk armour and fragmentary, finely ornamented plates of a primitive antiarch. The Osteichthyes are represented by a single large scale of an unidentified dipnoan from the Eifelian of the Cedarberg range, as well as a probable sarcopterygian dermal plate from the Emsian of the Prince Albert area. These are among the earliest sarcopterygian remains recorded from the Malvinokaffric Province.

  15. Taxonomic Distinctness of Demersal Fishes of the California Current: Moving Beyond Simple Measures of Diversity for Marine Ecosystem-Based Management

    PubMed Central

    Tolimieri, Nick; Anderson, Marti J.

    2010-01-01

    Background Large-scale patterns or trends in species diversity have long interested ecologists. The classic pattern is for diversity (e.g., species richness) to decrease with increasing latitude. Taxonomic distinctness is a diversity measure based on the relatedness of the species within a sample. Here we examined patterns of taxonomic distinctness in relation to latitude (ca. 32–48 °N) and depth (ca. 50–1220 m) for demersal fishes on the continental shelf and slope of the US Pacific coast. Methodology/Principal Findings Both average taxonomic distinctness (AvTD) and variation in taxonomic distinctness (VarTD) changed with latitude and depth. AvTD was highest at approximately 500 m and lowest at around 200 m bottom depth. Latitudinal trends in AvTD were somewhat weaker and were depth-specific. AvTD increased with latitude on the shelf (50–150 m) but tended to decrease with latitude at deeper depths. Variation in taxonomic distinctness (VarTD) was highest around 300 m. As with AvTD, latitudinal trends in VarTD were depth-specific. On the shelf (50–150 m), VarTD increased with latitude, while in deeper areas the patterns were more complex. Closer inspection of the data showed that the number and distribution of species within the class Chondrichthyes were the primary drivers of the overall patterns seen in AvTD and VarTD, while the relatedness and distribution of species in the order Scorpaeniformes appeared to cause the relatively low observed values of AvTD at around 200 m. Conclusions/Significance These trends contrast to some extent the patterns seen in earlier studies for species richness and evenness in demersal fishes along this coast and add to our understanding of diversity of the demersal fishes of the California Current. PMID:20498727

  16. Early development of rostrum saw-teeth in a fossil ray tests classical theories of the evolution of vertebrate dentitions

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Moya Meredith; Riley, Alex; Fraser, Gareth J.; Underwood, Charlie; Welten, Monique; Kriwet, Jürgen; Pfaff, Cathrin; Johanson, Zerina

    2015-01-01

    In classical theory, teeth of vertebrate dentitions evolved from co-option of external skin denticles into the oral cavity. This hypothesis predicts that ordered tooth arrangement and regulated replacement in the oral dentition were also derived from skin denticles. The fossil batoid ray Schizorhiza stromeri (Chondrichthyes; Cretaceous) provides a test of this theory. Schizorhiza preserves an extended cartilaginous rostrum with closely spaced, alternating saw-teeth, different from sawfish and sawsharks today. Multiple replacement teeth reveal unique new data from micro-CT scanning, showing how the ‘cone-in-cone’ series of ordered saw-teeth sets arrange themselves developmentally, to become enclosed by the roots of pre-existing saw-teeth. At the rostrum tip, newly developing saw-teeth are present, as mineralized crown tips within a vascular, cartilaginous furrow; these reorient via two 90° rotations then relocate laterally between previously formed roots. Saw-tooth replacement slows mid-rostrum where fewer saw-teeth are regenerated. These exceptional developmental data reveal regulated order for serial self-renewal, maintaining the saw edge with ever-increasing saw-tooth size. This mimics tooth replacement in chondrichthyans, but differs in the crown reorientation and their enclosure directly between roots of predecessor saw-teeth. Schizorhiza saw-tooth development is decoupled from the jaw teeth and their replacement, dependent on a dental lamina. This highly specialized rostral saw, derived from diversification of skin denticles, is distinct from the dentition and demonstrates the potential developmental plasticity of skin denticles. PMID:26423843

  17. Life-history correlates of extinction risk and recovery potential.

    PubMed

    Hutchings, Jeffrey A; Myers, Ransom A; García, Verónica B; Lucifora, Luis O; Kuparinen, Anna

    2012-06-01

    Extinction risk is inversely associated with maximum per capita population growth rate (r(max)). However, this parameter is not known for most threatened species, underscoring the value in identifying correlates of r(max) that, in the absence of demographic data, would indirectly allow one to identify species and populations at elevated risk of extinction and their associated recovery potential. We undertook a comparative life-history analysis of 199 species from three taxonomic classes: Chondrichthyes (e.g., sharks; n = 82), Actinopterygii (teleost or bony fishes; n = 47), and Mammalia (n = 70, including 16 marine species). Median r(max) was highest for (and similar between) terrestrial mammals (0.71) and teleosts (0.43), significantly lower among chondrichthyans (0.26), and lower still in marine mammals (0.07). Age at maturity was the primary (and negative) correlate of r(max). In contrast, although body size was negatively correlated with r(max) in chondrichthyans and mammals, evidence of an association in teleosts was equivocal, and fecundity was not related to r(max) in fishes, despite recurring assertions to the contrary. Our analyses suggest that age at maturity can serve as a universal predictor of extinction risk in fishes and mammals when r(max) itself is unknown. Moreover, in contrast to what is generally expected, the recovery potential of teleost fishes does not differ from that of terrestrial mammals. Our findings are supportive of the application of extinction-risk criteria that are based on generation time and that are independent of taxonomic affinity.

  18. Feeding biomechanics and theoretical calculations of bite force in bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) during ontogeny.

    PubMed

    Habegger, Maria L; Motta, Philip J; Huber, Daniel R; Dean, Mason N

    2012-12-01

    Evaluations of bite force, either measured directly or calculated theoretically, have been used to investigate the maximum feeding performance of a wide variety of vertebrates. However, bite force studies of fishes have focused primarily on small species due to the intractable nature of large apex predators. More massive muscles can generate higher forces and many of these fishes attain immense sizes; it is unclear how much of their biting performance is driven purely by dramatic ontogenetic increases in body size versus size-specific selection for enhanced feeding performance. In this study, we investigated biting performance and feeding biomechanics of immature and mature individuals from an ontogenetic series of an apex predator, the bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas (73-285cm total length). Theoretical bite force ranged from 36 to 2128N at the most anterior bite point, and 170 to 5914N at the most posterior bite point over the ontogenetic series. Scaling patterns differed among the two age groups investigated; immature bull shark bite force scaled with positive allometry, whereas adult bite force scaled isometrically. When the bite force of C. leucas was compared to those of 12 other cartilaginous fishes, bull sharks presented the highest mass-specific bite force, greater than that of the white shark or the great hammerhead shark. A phylogenetic independent contrast analysis of anatomical and dietary variables as determinants of bite force in these 13 species indicated that the evolution of large adult bite forces in cartilaginous fishes is linked predominantly to the evolution of large body size. Multiple regressions based on mass-specific standardized contrasts suggest that the evolution of high bite forces in Chondrichthyes is further correlated with hypertrophication of the jaw adductors, increased leverage for anterior biting, and widening of the head. Lastly, we discuss the ecological significance of positive allometry in bite force as a possible

  19. A comparative study of the ocular skeleton of fossil and modern chondrichthyans.

    PubMed

    Pilgrim, Brettney L; Franz-Odendaal, Tamara A

    2009-06-01

    Many vertebrates have an ocular skeleton composed of cartilage and/or bone situated within the sclera of the eye. In this study we investigated whether modern and fossil sharks have an ocular skeleton, and whether it is conserved in morphology. We describe the scleral skeletal elements of three species of modern sharks and compare them to those found in fossil sharks from the Cleveland Shale (360 Mya). We also compare the elements to contemporaneous arthrodires from the same deposit. Surprisingly, the morphology of the skeletal support of the eye was found to differ significantly between modern and fossil sharks. All three modern shark species examined (spiny dogfish shark Squalus acanthias, porbeagle shark Lamna nasus and blue shark Prionace glauca) have a continuous skeletal element that encapsulates much of the eyeball; however, the tissue composition is different in each species. Histological and morphological examination revealed scleral cartilage with distinct tesserae in parts of the sclera of the porbeagle and blue shark, and more diffuse calcification in the dogfish. Strengthening of the scleral cartilage by means of tesserae has not been reported previously in the shark eye. In striking contrast, the ocular skeleton of fossil sharks comprises a series of individual elements that are arranged in a ring, similar to the arrangement in modern and fossil reptiles. Fossil arthrodires also have a multi-unit sclerotic ring but these are composed of fewer elements than in fossil sharks. The morphology of these elements has implications for the behaviour and visual capabilities of sharks that lived during the Devonian Period. This is the first time that such a dramatic variation in the morphology of scleral skeletal elements has been observed in a single lineage (Chondrichthyes), making this lineage important for broadening our understanding of the evolution of these elements within jawed vertebrates.

  20. A comparative study of the ocular skeleton of fossil and modern chondrichthyans

    PubMed Central

    Pilgrim, Brettney L; Franz-Odendaal, Tamara A

    2009-01-01

    Many vertebrates have an ocular skeleton composed of cartilage and/or bone situated within the sclera of the eye. In this study we investigated whether modern and fossil sharks have an ocular skeleton, and whether it is conserved in morphology. We describe the scleral skeletal elements of three species of modern sharks and compare them to those found in fossil sharks from the Cleveland Shale (360 Mya). We also compare the elements to contemporaneous arthrodires from the same deposit. Surprisingly, the morphology of the skeletal support of the eye was found to differ significantly between modern and fossil sharks. All three modern shark species examined (spiny dogfish shark Squalus acanthias, porbeagle shark Lamna nasus and blue shark Prionace glauca) have a continuous skeletal element that encapsulates much of the eyeball; however, the tissue composition is different in each species. Histological and morphological examination revealed scleral cartilage with distinct tesserae in parts of the sclera of the porbeagle and blue shark, and more diffuse calcification in the dogfish. Strengthening of the scleral cartilage by means of tesserae has not been reported previously in the shark eye. In striking contrast, the ocular skeleton of fossil sharks comprises a series of individual elements that are arranged in a ring, similar to the arrangement in modern and fossil reptiles. Fossil arthrodires also have a multi-unit sclerotic ring but these are composed of fewer elements than in fossil sharks. The morphology of these elements has implications for the behaviour and visual capabilities of sharks that lived during the Devonian Period. This is the first time that such a dramatic variation in the morphology of scleral skeletal elements has been observed in a single lineage (Chondrichthyes), making this lineage important for broadening our understanding of the evolution of these elements within jawed vertebrates. PMID:19538630

  1. Fish genomes provide novel insights into the evolution of vertebrate secretin receptors and their ligand.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, João C R; Félix, Rute C; Trindade, Marlene; Power, Deborah M

    2014-12-01

    The secretin receptor (SCTR) is a member of Class 2 subfamily B1 GPCRs and part of the PAC1/VPAC receptor subfamily. This receptor has long been known in mammals but has only recently been identified in other vertebrates including teleosts, from which it was previously considered to be absent. The ligand for SCTR in mammals is secretin (SCT), an important gastrointestinal peptide, which in teleosts has not yet been isolated, or the gene identified. This study revises the evolutionary model previously proposed for the secretin-GPCRs in metazoan by analysing in detail the fishes, the most successful of the extant vertebrates. All the Actinopterygii genomes analysed and the Chondrichthyes and Sarcopterygii fish possess a SCTR gene that shares conserved sequence, structure and synteny with the tetrapod homologue. Phylogenetic clustering and gene environment comparisons revealed that fish and tetrapod SCTR shared a common origin and diverged early from the PAC1/VPAC subfamily group. In teleosts SCTR duplicated as a result of the fish specific whole genome duplication but in all the teleost genomes analysed, with the exception of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), one of the duplicates was lost. The function of SCTR in teleosts is unknown but quantitative PCR revealed that in both sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) transcript abundance is high in the gastrointestinal tract suggesting it may intervene in similar processes to those in mammals. In contrast, no gene encoding the ligand SCT was identified in the ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) although it was present in the coelacanth (lobe finned fish, Sarcopterygii) and in the elephant shark (holocephalian). The genes in linkage with SCT in tetrapods and coelacanth were also identified in ray-finned fishes supporting the idea that it was lost from their genome. At present SCTR remains an orphan receptor in ray-finned fishes and it will be of interest in the future to establish why SCT was

  2. Structure and function of the horn shark (Heterodontus francisci) cranium through ontogeny: development of a hard prey specialist.

    PubMed

    Summers, Adam P; Ketcham, Richard A; Rowe, Timothy

    2004-04-01

    The horn sharks (Heterodontidae: Chondrichthyes) represent one of four independent evolutions of durophagy in the cartilaginous fishes. We used high-resolution computed tomography (CT scanning) to visualize and quantify the mineralized tissue of an ontogenetic series of horn sharks. CT scanning of neonatal through adult California horn sharks (Heterodontus francisci) confirmed that this technique is effective for examining mineralized tissue in even small (<10 mm) specimens. The jaw joint is among the first areas to become mineralized and is the most heavily mineralized area in the cranium of a neonatal horn shark. The hyoid is also well mineralized, although the poorly mineralized molariform teeth indicate that the neonatal animal may be a suction feeder on softer prey. The symphysis of the jaws never mineralizes, in sharp contrast to the condition in the hard prey-crushing stingrays. Digitally reslicing the CT scans along the jaws allowed measurement of the second moment of area (Ina). Assuming that the jaws are made of the same material at all ages, Ina is an indicator of the flexural stiffness of the jaws. In all sizes of shark the lower jaws were stiffer than the upper and the stiffness increased in the area of the molariform teeth. The central region of the jaws, where the rami meet, support cuspidate grasping teeth and has the lowest Ina. The spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari), a hard prey-crushing stingray, shows a different pattern of flexural stiffness, with the peak at the central part of the jaws where the prey is reduced between flattened tooth plates. Although the eagle ray jaws have a higher Ina than the horn shark, they are also far more heavily mineralized. When the relative amounts of mineralization are taken into account, horn sharks do better with what mineral they have than does the eagle ray. With a tight jaw joint and loose mandibular symphysis, as well as nearly opposite patterns of stiffness in the jaws, it is clear that two of the

  3. Permian-Triassic Osteichthyes (bony fishes): diversity dynamics and body size evolution.

    PubMed

    Romano, Carlo; Koot, Martha B; Kogan, Ilja; Brayard, Arnaud; Minikh, Alla V; Brinkmann, Winand; Bucher, Hugo; Kriwet, Jürgen

    2016-02-01

    significant reduction in osteichthyan body size. Neopterygii, the clade that encompasses the vast majority of extant fishes, underwent another diversification phase in the Late Triassic. The Triassic radiation of Osteichthyes, predominantly of Actinopterygii, which only occurred after severe extinctions among Chondrichthyes during the Middle-Late Permian, resulted in a profound change within global fish communities, from chondrichthyan-rich faunas of the Permo-Carboniferous to typical Mesozoic and Cenozoic associations dominated by actinopterygians. This turnover was not sudden but followed a stepwise pattern, with leaps during extinction events.

  4. Structure and function of the horn shark (Heterodontus francisci) cranium through ontogeny: development of a hard prey specialist.

    PubMed

    Summers, Adam P; Ketcham, Richard A; Rowe, Timothy

    2004-04-01

    The horn sharks (Heterodontidae: Chondrichthyes) represent one of four independent evolutions of durophagy in the cartilaginous fishes. We used high-resolution computed tomography (CT scanning) to visualize and quantify the mineralized tissue of an ontogenetic series of horn sharks. CT scanning of neonatal through adult California horn sharks (Heterodontus francisci) confirmed that this technique is effective for examining mineralized tissue in even small (<10 mm) specimens. The jaw joint is among the first areas to become mineralized and is the most heavily mineralized area in the cranium of a neonatal horn shark. The hyoid is also well mineralized, although the poorly mineralized molariform teeth indicate that the neonatal animal may be a suction feeder on softer prey. The symphysis of the jaws never mineralizes, in sharp contrast to the condition in the hard prey-crushing stingrays. Digitally reslicing the CT scans along the jaws allowed measurement of the second moment of area (Ina). Assuming that the jaws are made of the same material at all ages, Ina is an indicator of the flexural stiffness of the jaws. In all sizes of shark the lower jaws were stiffer than the upper and the stiffness increased in the area of the molariform teeth. The central region of the jaws, where the rami meet, support cuspidate grasping teeth and has the lowest Ina. The spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari), a hard prey-crushing stingray, shows a different pattern of flexural stiffness, with the peak at the central part of the jaws where the prey is reduced between flattened tooth plates. Although the eagle ray jaws have a higher Ina than the horn shark, they are also far more heavily mineralized. When the relative amounts of mineralization are taken into account, horn sharks do better with what mineral they have than does the eagle ray. With a tight jaw joint and loose mandibular symphysis, as well as nearly opposite patterns of stiffness in the jaws, it is clear that two of the

  5. PCNA immunoreactivity revealing normal proliferative activity in the brain of an adult Elasmobranch, Torpedo marmorata.

    PubMed

    Margotta, Vito

    2007-01-01

    The brain of adult heterothermic vertebrates can be already provided of quiescent cells, scattered ("matrix cells") and/or clustered ("matrix areas"). These typical cells, in some regions located at or near ventricular surfaces and at peri-ependymal layers, in other territories populating their framework, maintain some embryonic properties and are responsible of normal or variously experimentally induced proliferative activities. On these topics there are a great number of reports concerning Teleostean Osteichthyes, Urodele and Anuran Amphibians, Lacertilian Reptiles. At the contrary, only few are the contributions regarding the Petromyzontidae. Involving an immunocytochemical marker, the Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA), revealing proliferative events, in the last years we have undertaken a reappraisal focused on these encephalic performances in normal adult poikilothermal vertebrates. To provide a valid comparison between our results and the literature data, our choice of the specimens was based on the desire to employ organisms belonging to the same or phylogenetically close species used by previous Authors in similar studies. In our immunocytochemical panorama there is a substantial agreement between our contributions and bibliographic references concerning natural encephalic proliferative phenomena in these vertebrates. At this point of our study, the last missing piece was represented by the Chondrichthyes about which the literature data are lacking. In order to fill this gap, the aim of the present research is to investigate, involving the same PCNA test, whether proliferative events also persist in the brain of adult cartilaginous fishes. The immunostaining images obtained in the Elasmo branch Torpedo marmorata, well-known for the emission of high electrical discharges, exhibit undifferentiated cells in relationship with the ependymal epithelium lining the cavities of all cerebral districts; some other neuroblasts are scattered in the mesencephalic

  6. Permian-Triassic Osteichthyes (bony fishes): diversity dynamics and body size evolution.

    PubMed

    Romano, Carlo; Koot, Martha B; Kogan, Ilja; Brayard, Arnaud; Minikh, Alla V; Brinkmann, Winand; Bucher, Hugo; Kriwet, Jürgen

    2016-02-01

    significant reduction in osteichthyan body size. Neopterygii, the clade that encompasses the vast majority of extant fishes, underwent another diversification phase in the Late Triassic. The Triassic radiation of Osteichthyes, predominantly of Actinopterygii, which only occurred after severe extinctions among Chondrichthyes during the Middle-Late Permian, resulted in a profound change within global fish communities, from chondrichthyan-rich faunas of the Permo-Carboniferous to typical Mesozoic and Cenozoic associations dominated by actinopterygians. This turnover was not sudden but followed a stepwise pattern, with leaps during extinction events. PMID:25431138

  7. Origin and evolution of gnathostome dentitions: a question of teeth and pharyngeal denticles in placoderms.

    PubMed

    Zerina, Johanson; Smith, Moya M

    2005-05-01

    The fossil group Placodermi is the most phylogenetically basal of the clade of jawed vertebrates but lacks a marginal dentition comparable to that of the dentate Chondrichthyes, Acanthodii and Osteichthyes (crown-group Gnathostomata). The teeth of crown-group gnathostomes are part of an ordered dentition replaced from, and patterned by, a dental lamina, exemplified by the elasmobranch model. A dentition recognised by these criteria has been previously judged absent in placoderms, based on structural evidence such as absence of tooth whorls and typical vertebrate dentine. However, evidence for regulated tooth addition in a precise spatiotemporal order can be observed in placoderms, but significantly, only within the group Arthrodira. In these fossils, as in other jawed vertebrates with statodont, non-replacing dentitions, new teeth are added at the ends of rows below the bite, but in line with biting edges of the dentition. The pattern is different on each gnathal bone and probably arises from single odontogenic primordia on each, but tooth rows are arranged in a distinctive placoderm pattern. New teeth are made of regular dentine comparable to that of crown-gnathostomes, formed from a pulp cavity. This differs from semidentine previously described for placoderm gnathalia, a type present in the external dermal tubercles. The Arthrodira is a derived taxon within the Placodermi, hence origin of teeth in placoderms occurs late in the phylogeny and teeth are convergently derived, relative to those of other jawed vertebrates. More basal placoderm taxa adopted other strategies for providing biting surfaces and these vary substantially, but include addition of denticles to the growing gnathal plates, at the margins of pre-existing denticle patches. These alternative strategies and apparent absence of regular dentine have led to previous interpretations that teeth were entirely absent from the placoderm dentition. A consensus view emerged that a dentition, as developed