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Deep-sea mystery solved: astonishing larval transformations and extreme sexual dimorphism unite three fish families

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dc.contributor.author Johnson, G. David en
dc.contributor.author Paxton, John R. en
dc.contributor.author Sutton, Tracey T. en
dc.contributor.author Satoh, Takashi P. en
dc.contributor.author Sado, Tetsuya en
dc.contributor.author Nishida, Mutsumi en
dc.contributor.author Miya, Masaki en
dc.date.accessioned 2009-05-15T15:43:00Z
dc.date.available 2009-05-15T15:43:00Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.citation Johnson, G. David, Paxton, John R., Sutton, Tracey T., Satoh, Takashi P., Sado, Tetsuya, Nishida, Mutsumi, and Miya, Masaki. 2009. "<a href="https://repository.si.edu/handle/10088/7463">Deep-sea mystery solved: astonishing larval transformations and extreme sexual dimorphism unite three fish families</a>." <em>Biology Letters</em>. 5 (2):235&ndash;239. en
dc.identifier.issn 1744-9561
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10088/7463
dc.description.abstract The oceanic bathypelagic realm (1000 4000?m) is a nutrient-poor habitat. Most fishes living there have pelagic larvae using the rich waters of the upper 200?m. Morphological and behavioural specializations necessary to occupy such contrasting environments have resulted in remarkable developmental changes and life-history strategies. We resolve a long-standing biological and taxonomic conundrum by documenting the most extreme example of ontogenetic metamorphoses and sexual dimorphism in vertebrates. Based on morphology and mitogenomic sequence data, we show that fishes currently assigned to three families with greatly differing morphologies, Mirapinnidae (tapetails), Megalomycteridae (bignose fishes) and Cetomimidae (whalefishes), are larvae, males and females, respectively, of a single family Cetomimidae. Morphological transformations involve dramatic changes in the skeleton, most spectacularly in the head, and are correlated with distinctly different feeding mechanisms. Larvae have small, upturned mouths and gorge on copepods. Females have huge gapes with long, horizontal jaws and specialized gill arches allowing them to capture larger prey. Males cease feeding, lose their stomach and oesophagus, and apparently convert the energy from the bolus of copepods found in all transforming males to a massive liver that supports them throughout adult life. en
dc.format.extent 257118 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.relation.ispartof Biology Letters en
dc.title Deep-sea mystery solved: astonishing larval transformations and extreme sexual dimorphism unite three fish families en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 77713
rft.jtitle Biology Letters
rft.volume 5
rft.issue 2
rft.spage 235
rft.epage 239
dc.description.SIUnit NH-Vertebrate Zoology en
dc.description.SIUnit NMNH en
dc.citation.spage 235
dc.citation.epage 239


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