Coccocephalichthys enters the LRT

Updated September 1, 2021
with the shifting of taxa based on new skull identities, plus the addition of several more closely related taxa. See the large reptile tree for the latest updates, not always repaired here.

Coccocephalichthys wildi (originally Coccocephalus wildi Watson 1925; Whitley 1940; Poplin and Véran 1996; Late Carboniferous; Fig. 2) was originally considered a palaeoniscid, like Cheirolepis.

Figure 2. Coccocephalichthys (formerly Coccocephalus) is a Late Carboniferous transitional taxon between Devonian Strunius and Cretaceous Saurichthys.

Figure 2. Coccocephalichthys (formerly Coccocephalus) is a Late Carboniferous transitional taxon

In the large reptile tree (LRT, 1569 taxa) Late Carboniferous Coccocephalichthys among the paleoniscids. Several bones are re-identified above based on tetrapod homologs.

Most of the time,
this is how the LRT grows, by adding new transitional taxon between two presently tested taxa. In this case, the transitional taxon neatly helps illustrate the evolution that occurred between the two extremes. Using tetrapod labels (Fig. 2) has proven to help us understand the identity of facial bones in these fish.

Using colors to identify bones
is something I started doing in the vampire pterosaur, Jeholopterus (see header above, far right) in 2003. I was wondering if someone could send me an earlier example of this graphic technique? Today it seems to be growing in popularity, especially so since there are no additional color charges for papers published online.

Poplin C and Véran M 1996. A revision of the actinopterygian fish Coccocephalus wildifrom the Upper Carboniferous of Lancashire. In Milner, A. R. (ed.) Studies on Carboniferous and Permian vertebrates. Special Papers in Palaeontology 52: 7-29.
Watson DMS 1925. The structure of certain palæoniscids and the relationships of that group with other bony fish. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 54: 815–870.
Whitley GP 1940. The Nomenclator Zoologicus and some new fish names. Australian Naturalist, 10:241–243.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.