Holostei facts for kids

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Holostei
Temporal range: Jurassic - Recent
Spotted gar, Lepisosteus oculatus
Bowfin, Amia calva
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Subclass: Neopterygii
Infraclass: Holostei
Orders

Amiiformes
Lepisosteiformes

Holostei are bony fish that show primitive characteristics. There are eight species divided among two orders, the Amiiformes represented by a single living species, the bowfin (Amia calva), and the Lepisosteiformes, the gars. There are more species to be found in the fossil record.

Characteristics

Holostei share with other non-teleost ray-finned fish a mixture of characteristics of teleosts and sharks. In comparison with the other group of non-teleost ray-finned fish, the chondrosteans, the Holostei are closer to the teleosts and further from sharks: the pair of spiracles found in sharks and chondrosteans is reduced in holosteans to a remnant structure: in gars, the spiracles do not even open to the outside; the skeleton is lightly ossified: a thin layer of bone covers a mostly cartilaginous skeleton in the bowfins. In gars, the tail is still heterocercal but less so than in the chondrosteans. Bowfins have many-rayed dorsal fins and can breathe air like the bichirs.

The gars have thick ganoid scales typical of sturgeons whereas the bowfin has thin bony scales like the teleosts. The gars are therefore in this regard considered more primitive than the bowfin.

The name Holostei derives from the Greek, holos meaning whole and osteon meaning bone: a reference to their bony skeletons.

Phylogeny

Cipactlichthys scutatus holotype
Cipactlichthys scutatus holotype fossil, from the Lower Cretaceous Tlayua Formation of Mexico

The cladogram shows the relationship of the Holostei to other bony fish, the great majority of which are Teleosts, and to the terrestrial vertebrates (tetrapods) that evolved from a related group of fish. Approximate dates are from Near et al., 2012.

Osteichthyes
Actinopterygii 400 mya


part of "Chondrostei" Polypteridae (bichirs) Nile bichir.png



part of "Chondrostei"

Acipenseriformes (sturgeons, paddlefish) Sturgeon2.jpg


Neopterygii 360 mya

Holostei (bowfins, gars) 275 mya Amia calva1.jpg



Teleostei 310 mya Yellow perch fish perca flavescens.jpg






Sarcopterygii

Actinistia (Coelacanths) Coelacanth.png




Dipnoi (Lungfish) Protopterus aethiopicus.jpg



Tetrapods

Amphibians Triturus dobrogicus dunai tarajosgőte.jpg


Amniota

Mammals Lemur catta 001.jpg



Sauropsids (reptiles, birds) 2014-04-02-Cikonio fluganta 030.jpg









Holostei Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.