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Data from: A rich diversity of opercle bone shape among teleost fishes

Cite this dataset

Kimmel, Charles B.; Small, Clayton M.; Knope, Matthew L. (2018). Data from: A rich diversity of opercle bone shape among teleost fishes [Dataset]. Dryad.


The opercle is a prominent craniofacial bone supporting the gill cover in all bony fish and has been the subject of morphological, developmental, and genetic investigation. We surveyed the shapes of this bone among 110 families spanning the teleost tree and examined its pattern of occupancy in a principal component-based morphospace. Contrasting with expectations from the literature that suggest the local morphospace would be only sparsely occupied, we find primarily dense, broad filling of the morphological landscape, indicating rich diversity. Phylomorphospace plots suggest that dynamic evolution underlies the observed spatial patterning. Evolutionary transits through the morphospaces are sometimes long, and occur in a variety of directions. The trajectories seem to represent both evolutionary divergences and convergences, the latter supported by convevol analysis. We suggest that that this pattern of occupancy reflects the various adaptations of different groups of fishes, seemingly paralleling their diverse marine and freshwater ecologies and life histories. Opercle shape evolution within the acanthomorphs, spiny ray-finned fishes, appears to have been especially dynamic.

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National Science Foundation, Award: NSF IOS-0818738