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Werneburg I.2015. Morphology of the jaw, suspensorial, and opercle musculature of Beloniformes and related species (Teleostei: Acanthopterygii), with a special reference to the m. adductor mandibulae complex. PeerJ PrePrints3:e691v2https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.691v2
The taxon Beloniformes represents a heterogeneous group of teleost fishes that show an extraordinary diversity of jaw morphology. I present new anatomical descriptions of the jaw musculature in six selected beloniforms and four closely related species. A reduction of the external jaw adductor (A1) and a changed morphology of the intramandibular musculature were found in many Beloniformes. This might be correlated with the progressively reduced mobility of the upper and lower jaw bones. The needlefishes and sauries, which are characterised by extremely elongated and stiffened jaws, show several derived characters, which in combination enable the capture of fish at high velocity. The ricefishes are characterised by several derived and many plesiomorphic characters that make broad scale comparisons difficult. Soft tissue characters are highly diverse among hemiramphids and flying fishes reflecting the uncertainty about their phylogenetic position and interrelationship. The morphological findings presented herein may help to interpret future phylogenetic analyses using cranial musculature in Beloniformes.
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