So…I have been mulling on this for a few years now–specifically, upon reading through the article Phylogenetic Classification of Bony Fishes (Betancur-R et al. BMC Evolutionary Biology (2017) 17:162) with a few modifications, especially from Comprehensive phylogeny of ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) based on transcriptomic and genomic data ((PNAS June 12, 2018 115 (24) 6249-6254)). I love cladograms. I love organizing things. I love animal figures, and I love fish. And so, I decided to work through the Actinopterygii family tree (modern crown groups only…I’m not crazy…) as the Twelve Days of Fishmas!
(I’ll apologize now for the forced rhyme schemes).
This also means that I’ll be posting straight from now until the 25th, and then return in January. But I will talk about the pictured figures a little!
On the first day of Fishmas cladistics gave to me…
- One bichir at the base of Actinopterygii
So we start at the base of the Acintopterygii family tree with the Cladistia, represented by the modern polypterids, Bichirs and Ropefish. Also, of course, my very favorite fish in the world. Among the modern ray-fin fish, these fish represent the basal-most actinopterygians.
The figure in this figure is the second bichir made for the FaunaFiguresFishes line, a series created for me when I was running a store. This particular one is Polypterus ornatipinnis, the Ornate bichir. Easily one of the most attractive of the species, one that I haven’t personally kept for quite a while, but a very easy to keep and engaging fish as a pet. Most of them are (I do have one right now, a P. polli, who can best be described as a jerk though). I actually did look at this figure more closely here.
There are a few figures of these fish, but in general the only commercial figures have been Polypterus endlicheri. Maybe that will change someday?