Fishes of the World
"Of all the literature I use while preparing field guides for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Nelson's Fishes of the World is, by far, the one I refer to most often. [This] book is a standard reference . . . I continue to use it extensively in the ichthyology courses I teach, particularly in laboratory sessions."
"Fishes of the World is a unique and essential resource for anyone seriously interested in the diversity and evolution of fishes. The family accounts provide quick summaries of current knowledge on all groups of living fishes and many key fossil taxa. It is a required work for every student in my laboratory."
"Only classics are known by the single name of their author, and certainly [Nelson's book] has for four editions been such a book for all those who seek an accessible, up-to-date, readable reference on fish classification. Once again, Nelson presents a balanced view of the sometimes tumultuous, but ever-exciting, study of the phylogenetic relationships and classification of fishes. In doing so, Nelson makes an excellent case for organismal biology, highlighting the many and varied morphological characters we use to diagnose fish taxa and differentiate among the 515 families of living species."
Fishes of the World, Fourth Edition is the updated edition of a true classic in the field. A unique presentation of a modern, cladistically based classification of all the major living and fossil fish groups, this indispensable reference helps scientists and others identify and classify specimens, make familial connections, understand the evolution of fishes, and springboard into further research.
The taxonomy of fishes presented includes the anatomical characteristics, distribution, common and scientific names, and phylogenetic relationships for all 515 families of living fishes. Packed with representative species drawings and information on phylogentic relationships, this informative Fourth Edition features:
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The sister group possessing more apomorphic character states relative to the
other is the derived group , while the other ... As with any approach , one must
take care that characters are not arbitrarily chosen or their states arbitrarily
The class Actinopterygii , one of the major vertebrate taxa , is not diagnosed by
strong derived character sets , but is ... such as Psarolepis , that show
combinations of actinopterygian and sarcopterygian characters ( Cloutier and
Arratia , 2004 ...
Considerable morphological diversity exists among the pelagic leptocephalus
larvae , more so than among the adults . Selective pressures on larval characters
have generally been different than on adult characters ( as is true for most marine
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