Gill-filament ossifications: a possible morphological synapomorphy uniting the families Balitoridae and Cobitidae (Ostariophysi: Cypriniformes)

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Ossifications associated with the gill filaments of members of the Balitoridae and Cobitidae are described for the first time. Although gill-filament ossifications are common in teleosts, similar ossifications were not observed in other members of the order Cypriniformes. Their presence is interpreted as a shared and derived character uniting the families Balitoridae and Cobitidae as a monophyletic group.

Keywords: Cypriniformes; branchial arches; ossification; primary lamellae

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Biology, Saint Louis University, 3507 Laclede Avenue, St Louis, MO 63103-2010, U.S.A.

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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