Re: NANFA-- OT: African Butterfly Fish

Bruce Stallsmith (
Thu, 13 Jan 2000 12:59:36 EST

I wouldn't call them fish, even though they are usually covered in textbooks
and discussions on ichthyology and fish in general. They serve a useful
purpose to better define what really _is_ a fish; in evolutionary terms they
represent what a reasonably large aquatic vertebrate could be without jaws,
scales or paired fins. Agnathans are very successful in certain ecological
niches even with their so-called primitive characteristics. But they have
been largely outcompeted by today's very diverse groups of fish (in all of
their paraphyletic glory).

--Bruce Stallsmith
springlike Huntsville, AL

>Subject: Re: NANFA-- OT: African Butterfly Fish
>Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 01:35:37 EST
>In a message dated 1/12/00 9:44:52 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> writes:
><< And my 2 cents on lampreys as fish or not -- the fact that they are
> is a fundamental different between them and the true "fishes". They are
> fish-like in many ways, but jaw structure is a major diagnostic
>character. >>
>So you would not use the word "fish" even as a loose umbrella term to cover
>non-amphibian, reptile, mammal, ect. vertebrates in the same manner that
>invertebrates are used as an umbrella term for worms,mollusks, crustaceans
>ect? What would you classify lampreys as? Merely Agnathans, or is there a
>broader term that you would use to include other groups along with them?
>Chris is calling them "fishes" in a very loose sense which still makes VERY
>BIG distinctions between them, sharks,fishes like sturgeons,
>but I'm under the impression that you would not even use the the word
>to describe them even in a loose sense of the word.

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