Miniatures, morphology and molecules: problems with the phylogenetic position of Paedocypris
Vertebrates Division, Dept. Life Sciences, NHM
Wednesday 26 June 11:00
Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)
The highly miniaturized fish species of the cyprinid genus Paedocypris are among the smallest of all vertebrates. Their skeleton shows a puzzling mixture ofhighly reductive and morphologically novel characters. Numerous structures present in most bony fishes are absent in Paedocypris due to an organism wide case of progenesis or developmental truncation. I highlight the problems associated with working morphologically with such a truncated organism and offer some solutions. I also look in detail at the evidence from recent molecular systematic analyses some of which are in sharp contrast to the results based on morphology. I touch upon the general issue of morphology versus molecules and discuss it in the context of the phylogenetic position of Paedocypris.
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