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Late Triassic Pholidophorus has close relatives living in the Amazon

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According to Wikipedia,
“Pholidophorus is an extinct genus of stemteleost fish. Numerous species were assigned to this genus in the past, but only the type species Pholidophorus latiusculus, from the Late Triassic of Europe, is considered to be a valid member of the genus today.”

The tiny holotype of the type species is shown in figure 1.

Recent housekeeping
in the large reptile tree (LRT, 2222 taxa) moves extinct Pholidophorus, and extant Hoplerythrinus (Fig 1) + Pantodon (Fig 2) together, perhaps for the first time. The tiny Triassic taxon is much smaller than the two extant taxa, but otherwise are similar in trait analysis.

According to Wikipedia (continued):
“Pholidophorus was a herring-like fish about 40 centimetres (16 in) long, although it was not closely related to modern herring. Like them, however, it had a single dorsal fin, a symmetrical tail, and an anal fin placed towards the rear of the body. It had large eyes and was probably a fast-swimming predator, hunting planktonic crustaceans and smaller fish.”

The holotype of the type species (Fig 1) is far smaller than 40cm long.

According to Wikipedia (continued):
“A very early teleost, Pholidophorus had many primitive characteristics such as ganoid scales and a spine that was partially composed of cartilage, rather than bone.”

This basal ray fin nesting is confirmed by the LRT.

Pholidophorus latiusculus
(Agassiz 1832; holotype, Carnian, Late Triassic) was a herring-like fish with thick ganoid scales and a poorly ossified spine. Traditionally considered an early teleost, here Pholidophorus nests with extant Hoplerythrinus and kin.

Hoplerythrinus unitaeniatus
(originally Erythrinus unitaeniatus Spix and Agassiz 1829; 25cm) is the extant gold wolf fish or aimara, found in South American rivers. Like Amia, the bowfin) this taxon does well with stagnant, oxygen-poor water by gulping air.

Pantodon buchholzi
(Peters 1876-7; 13cm) is the extant freshwater butterflyfish. Traditionally considered close to Osteoglossum, here Pantodon nests with Hoplerythrinus. Large pectoral fins and long gracile pectoral rays are large enough to provide a bit of a glide after leaping from the water. This is an air-breathing fish that stays close to the surface. Males have a copulatory organ.

This clade of air-breathers is not related
to air-breathing fish close to the lineage of tetrapods.

This appears to be a novel hypothesis of interrelationships.
If not, please provide a citation so I can promote it here.

Agassiz L 1832. Untersuchungen über die fossilen Fische der Lias-Formation. Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geognosie, Geologie und Petrefaktenkunde, 3, 139–149.
Agassiz L 1845. Monographie de poissons fossiles des Vieux Grès Rouges ou Système Dévonien (Old Red Sandstone) des Îles Britanniques et de Russie. Imprimerie de Petitpierre et Prince, Neuchâtel.
Arratia G 2013. Morphology, taxonomy, and phylogeny of Triassic Pholidophorid fishes (Actinopterygii, Teleostei). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33:1-138.
Peters WKH 1876-7. Über eine merkwürdige von Hrn. Professor Dr. Buchholz entdeckte neue Gattung von Süsswasserfischen, Pantodon buchholzi, welche zugleich eine neue, den Malacopterygii abdominales angehörige Gruppe von Fischen, Pantodontes, repräsentirt. Monatsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaft zu Berlin 1876: 195-200.

wiki/Freshwater_butterflyfish – Pantodon


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