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Data from: Evolutionary origin and early biogeography of otophysan fishes (Ostariophysi: Teleostei)

Cite this dataset

Chen, Wei-Jen; Lavoué, Sébastien; Mayden, Richard L. (2013). Data from: Evolutionary origin and early biogeography of otophysan fishes (Ostariophysi: Teleostei) [Dataset]. Dryad.


Biogeography of the mega-diverse, freshwater and globally-distributed Otophysi has received considerable attention. The attraction largely stems from assumptions as its ancient origin, and by being almost exclusively freshwater, their suitability as to explanations of trans-oceanic distributions. Despite multiple hypotheses explaining present-day distributions, problems remain, precluding more parsimonious explanations. Underlying previous hypotheses involve alternative phylogenies for Otophysi, uncertainties as to temporal diversification and assumptions integral to various explanations. We reexamine the origin and early diversification of this clade based on a comprehensive time-calibrated, molecular-based phylogenetic analysis and event-based approaches for ancestral range inference of lineages. Our results do not corroborate current phylogenetic classifications of otophysans. We demonstrate Siluriformes are never sister to Gymnotiformes and Characiformes are most likely non-monophyletic. Divergence-time estimates specify a split between Cypriniformes and Characiphysi as a result of fragmentation of Pangea. The early diversification of characiphysans either predated, or was contemporary with, the separation of Africa and South America, and involved a combination of within- and between-continental divergence events for these lineages. The inter-continental diversification of siluroids and characoids postdated major inter-continental tectonic fragmentations (<90Mya). Post-tectonic drift dispersals are hypothesized to account for current patterns of distribution of these latter two clades.

Usage notes


South America
Southeast Asia
North America