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The varasichthyid and other crossognathiform fishes, and the Break-up of Pangaea

By
Arratia Gloria
Arratia Gloria
Biodiversity Research Center, The University of Kansas
,
Dyche Hall, Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7561
,
USA
(e-mail: garratia@ku.edu)
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Published:
January 01, 2008

Abstract

Crossognathiforms have been traditionally considered typical marine Cretaceous forms widely represented in the Northern Hemisphere and by a few members in Brazil. During the last 30 years they have been interpreted as Teleostei incertae sedis, clupeocephalans or a non-monophyletic group. New evidence indicates that the Oxfordian taxon Chongichthys (previously considered a Teleostei incertae sedis or a clupeocephalan), the Late Jurassic family Varasichthyidae (interpreted as basal teleosts), and the crossognathoids and pachyrhizodontoids form a clade here recognized as the Crossognathiformes. Varasichthyids are the sister group of a clade including Chongichthys (at the base) and crossognathoids+pachyrhizodontoids. The Crossognathiformes (including Varasichthyidae and Chongichthys) are basal teleosts placed between the Late Jurassic basal genera Tharsis and Ascalabos in one tree or between Ascalabos and the ichthyodectiforms in the second tree. The position of elopomorphs as the most basal extant teleosts is confirmed. A new interpretation of the phylogenetic position of the clade [Humbertia+[Erichalcis+[Leptolepides+Orthogonikleithrum]]], at the base of clupeocephalans, is suggested.

The presence of the Late Jurassic varasichthyids (e.g. Domeykos) in South America (Chile) and Central America (Cuba; Luisichthys), and Chongichthys (Chile), and of the Late Jurassic genera Ascalabos and Tharsis and the ichthyodectiforms (e.g. Allothrissops) in Europe (e.g. Germany) allows the proposal of a sister-area relationship between Chile and Cuba, which was the sister area of Germany during the Late Jurassic. The Late Jurassic connection between the Palaeopacific (Chilean region) and the Tethys Sea (southern Germany) was through the newly formed Central Atlantic Ocean (Cuban region) as a result of the break up of Pangaea and separation of North America, South America and Africa.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Fishes and the Break-up of Pangaea

L. Cavin
L. Cavin
Museum d’Histoire de Naturelle, Genève, Switzerland
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A. Longbottom
A. Longbottom
Natural History Museum, UK
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M. Richter
M. Richter
Natural History Museum, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
295
ISBN electronic:
9781862395435
Publication date:
January 01, 2008

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