Xiphactinus and its ancestors in the LRT

Short one today
told in pictures.

Here are the taxa
(Fig. 1) in the large reptile tree (LRT, 1803+ taxa; subset Fig. 2) in the lineage of Xiphactinus (Fig. 1) a large Late Cretaceous predator from the Niobrara formation, starting with Calamopleurus, the Early Cretaceous bowfin with long, wicked teeth. Calamopleurus likely had a Late Silurian ancestry based on an Early Devonian relative, Doliodus.

Figure 1. Taxa in the lineage of Xiphactinus going back to Salmo, the salmon.

Figure 1. Taxa in the lineage of Xiphactinus going back to Salmo, the salmon.

As mentioned earlier,
wrestling with data on these 90 or so ray-fin bony fish over the last 2-3 months has been a full-time task. Many, many corrections were made. The present subset of the LRT still needs some polishing, but it is settling into a logical model for evolutionary processes distinct from traditional cladograms that do not recognize the origin of bony fish from hybodontid sharks and Gregorius.

Figure x. Rayfin fish cladogram. This one represents the latest subset of the LRT.

Figure x. Rayfin fish cladogram. This one represents the latest subset of the LRT.

The white notch 
that includes mormyrids and piranha (Fig. 2) was covered earlier here.


 

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