Acanthodian Fishes and the Origins of Sharks – #365papers – 2018 – 10

Coates, Finarelli, Sansom, Andreev, Criswell, Tietjen, Rivers, La Riviere, 2018,  An early chondrichthyan and the evolutionary assembly of a shark body plan: Proceedings of the Royal Society B, v. 285, 20172418.

What’s it about?

Using modern tomographic techniques, the authors were able to examine the head and gill skeleton of a fossil fish called Gladbachus. The authors were able to see many characteristics that are both in common with acanthodian (so-called “spiny sharks”) and modern sharks.

Why does it matter?

In the past, the acanthodians and the modern sharks have been considered distinct groups. This research illustrates that the transition from acanthodian to true sharks, and that modern sharks evolved from acanthodians.

Why did I read this?

This paper caught my eye as something relevant for the coming semester, as I will be discussing the origins and evolution of modern fishes. It totally is going to be used in my class!

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