da Silva, Joao Paulo C. B.
de Carvalho, Marcelo R.
Total Authors: 2
 Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Biociencias, Dept Zool, BR-05508090 Sao Paulo - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 1
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society;
Web of Science Citations:
The morphology of the articular region of the scapulocoracoid and the basal cartilages of the pectoral fin endoskeleton of elasmobranchs is reviewed in detail. Examination of this specific morphology in more than 140 species of elasmobranchs (of which 40 are reported here) revealed characters that may have a bearing on the higher-level phylogeny of the group. Ten distinct characters of the scapular articular region of elasmobranchs are described, varying in terms of the number of distinct articular sites as well as their specific morphology (e.g. whether the articular surface is composed of condyles and/or facets). Previous interpretations of the articular region in morphological phylogenies are also reviewed, revealing much more morphological variation than formerly reported. These prior characters played an important role in supporting the Hypnosqualea, and may still be derived for this clade. The variation and distribution of the new characters discussed provide new insights for the evolution of the pectoral endoskeleton in chondrichthyans. They also highlight the continued importance of morphological characters for phylogenetic studies, and reinforce the necessity of in-depth anatomical reviews of certain characters employed in previous higher-level phylogenetic studies of elasmobranchs.(c) 2015 The Linnean Society of London (AU)