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Free Content Comparative Morphology of Spined Scales and their Phylogenetic Significance in the Teleostei

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The organization and morphology of spined scales are described from a broad-based survey of body scales of teleost fishes using scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy. Three general types of spined scale are recognized (1) crenate: simple marginal indentations and projections, (2) spinoid: spines continuous with the main body of the scale, and (3) ctenoid: spines separate from the main body of the scale, in two common configurations of transforming or peripheral ctenoid and a rare configuration of whole ctenoid. Crenate scales occur widely in the Elopocephala; spinoid scales occur widely in the Euteleostei; peripheral ctenoid scales have a restricted distribution in the Euteleostei, occurring probably independently in the Ostariophysi, Paracanthopterygii, and Percomorpha; transforming ctenoid scales are a unique specialized form of spined scale, and are a synapomorphic character diagnosing the Percomorpha; whole ctenoid scales are known from only two percomorph genera. The greatest diversity of spined scales is found in the Ostariophysi and the Percomorpha. Spined scales show great evolutionary plasticity, and it is suggested that changes in ontogenetic trajectory, as well as the evolution of new characters, contribute to the diversity of spinal structures observed.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1993

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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