Peter L. Forey
This book began with the desire by the editors to create a publication to honour Dr Peter Forey (Fig. 1) in recognition of his great contribution to fish systematics and palaeobiogeography. This preface gives a brief review of some of his accomplishments and a list of his publications to date. Peter Forey started his palaeontological career as a research student of Brian Gardiner at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London from 1968–1971.
His thesis on elopiform fishes was published in 1973 in the Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) (Geology supplement 10). That same year he produced what turned out to be a signal paper entitled ‘Relationships of elopomorphs’, which was published in ‘Interrelationships of Fishes’ (Greenwood, Miles & Patterson 1973). This was subsequently updated in 1996 by the paper Forey, Littlewood, Ritchie & Meyer, ‘Interrelationships of elopomorph fishes’, published in a new edition of ‘Interrelationships of Fishes’. These publications are still the standard works on fossil elopomorph comparative anatomy.
In 1972, sometime after graduation (during which period he had several jobs, including working for a security firm) he applied for, and secured, the position of Assistant professor in Zoology at the University of Alberta. He remained in this post until 1975 when he joined the fossil fish section in the Department of Palaeontology at the Natural History Museum, London. Here, working with Colin Patterson, he became one of the prime movers in getting phylogenetic systematics (or cladistics as it became called) accepted by the palaeontology community.
Figures & Tables
This volume, in honour of Peter L. Forey, is about fishes as palaeobiogeographic indicators in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. The last 250 million years in the history of Earth have witnessed the break-up of Pangaea, affecting the biogeography of organisms. Fishes occupy almost all freshwater and marine environments, making them a good tool to assess palaeogeographic models.
The volume begins with studies of Triassic chondrichthyans and lungfishes, with reflections on Triassic palaeogeography. Phylogeny and distribution of Late Jurassic neoselachians and basal teleosts are broached, and are followed by five papers about the Cretaceous, dealing with SE Asian sharks, South American ray-finned fishes and coelacanths, European characiforms, and global fish palaeogeography. Then six papers cover Tertiary subjects, such as bony tongues, eels, cypriniforms and coelacanths.
There is generally a good fit between fish phylogenies and the evolution of the palaeogeographical pattern, although a few discrepancies question details of current palaeogeographic models and/or some aspects of fish phylogeny.