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The herring, Clupea, enters the LRT, but not with traditional Clupeiformes

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The extant herring,
Clupea (Fig. 1) enters the large reptile tree (LRT, 1823+ taxa) today, but not with the other traditional member of the Clupeiformes.

Figure 1. Clupea, the herring illustration and skull, colored here. Pay close attention to the base of the tail, then compare to figure 2.

According to Wikipedia,
Clupeiformes includes the herring family, Clupeidae, and the anchovy family, Engraulidae.”

In the LRT
the anchovy, Engraulus, nests closer to the Palaeonisciformes and other extinct taxa on the lobefin clade of bony fish, far, far from herrings. The LRT split of bony fish is not the same as in traditional lobefin/rayfin cladograms. Among the Clupeiodei, the wolf herring, Chirocentrus, nests closer to Xiphactinus and other extinct taxa. Clupea nests with two other extinct taxa from the Santana Formation that may be adult and hatchling of a single taxon: Notelops and Santanichthys.

Clupea (Alosa) finta
(Linneaus 1758, Cuvier 1829; 38 cm) is one species of herring, a genus of plankton-feeding oceanic, schooling fish. Clupea nests at the base of the Santana clade of Notelops and Santanichthys (below), not with Elops, Engraulis, Chirocentrus or other traditional members of the Clupeiformes.

Notelops sp. (Woodward 1901; Forey 1977; 60cm) nests with tiny Santanichthys at the base of the Perciformes in the LRT, suggesting an adult/juvenile relationship heretofore overlooked.

Clupea looks like your standard, plesiomorphic fish. It is. Don’t omit such taxa from your cladograms just because they are not weird, scary or gigantic. Here and elsewhere the plain and small taxa are important, too.

Cuvier G 1829. Le règne animal distribué d’après son organisation, pour servir de base a l’histoire naturelle des animaux et d’introduction a l’anatomie comparée. Avec figures dessinées d’après nature. Nouvelle édition, revue et augmentée. Tome II. – pp. j-xv [= 1-15], 1-406. Paris. (Déterville).
Linnaeus C 1758. Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata.



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