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Homology of intermuscular bones in acanthomorph fishes


, : Homology of intermuscular bones in acanthomorph fishes. American Museum Novitates 0(3241): 1-25, Aug 27

Myosepta of selected representatives of the following acanthomorph taxa were investigated: Polymixiiformes, Lampridiformes, Paracanthopterygii, Beryciformes, Atherinomorpha, and Percomorpha. A new technique, microdissection of alcohol-stored specimens and polarized-light microscopy, was applied to study the three-dimensional architecture of connective tissue fibers in epaxial parts of myosepta. Several invariable similarities were present in all taxa: an epineural series of tendons or bones and a tendinous series of lateral bands in the epaxial part of the myoseptum, and an epicentral series of tendons or bones in the horizontal septum. Patterson and Johnson's (1995) hypothesis that the single bony series of intermusculars in higher acanthomorphs is the homolog of epineurals of lower teleosts is tested. Our results contradict their hypothesis at essential points because we discovered epineural tendons in the normal epaxial position in different acanthomorphs that were considered to lack these. We conclude that the first intermuscular bone of Polymixia is an epicentral, the single series of intermuscular bones of Holacanthopterygii are epicentrals, and the neoneurals of some percomorphs are normal epineurals. Phylogenetic implications of our results are discussed.

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