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Data from: Evolution of the intermuscular bones in the Cyprinidae (Pisces) from a phylogenetic perspective


Yang, Kunfeng et al. (2019), Data from: Evolution of the intermuscular bones in the Cyprinidae (Pisces) from a phylogenetic perspective, Dryad, Dataset,


Intermuscular bones (IBs) are widely present in morphologically generalized teleost fishes, and are commonly found in the Cyprinidae. IBs are small, hard spicules of bone that form by ossification in the myosepta between neighboring myomeres. Why fish have IBs, and whether there is any evolutionary pattern to their occurrence, have been poorly understood. However, the presence of IBs do substantially affect the meat quality and commercial values of many cyprinid fishes in aquaculture. In this study, we sampled 592 individuals of cyprinid fishes to systematically investigate the evolution of IBs from a phylogenetic point of view. We found that the total number of IBs in the Cyprinidae ranged from 73 to 169, and we clarified that only two categories of IBs (epineural and epipleural) were present in all examined cyprinids. Most of the IBs were distributed in the posterior region of the fish, which might be an optimal target for selecting fewer IBs strains in aquaculture. There was a positive correlation between IBs and the number of vertebrae, thus making it possible to predict the approximate number of IBs by counting the number of vertebrae. Although the IBs displayed some correlation with phylogenetic relationships in some lineages and to ecological factors such as diet (especially carnivore), in an overall view the variations of IBs in cyprinids were extremely diverse. The number and patterns of IBs in these fishes may reflect their phylogenetic history, but has been shaped by multiple environment factors. In this study, we also confirmed that X-ray photography remains an optimal and reliable method for the study of IBs.

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