from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- proper noun A taxonomic
familywithin the order Polypteriformes— the bichirs.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Uncovering patterns of morphological change within Polypteridae provides an important opportunity to evaluate if the mechanisms underlying morphological evolution are shared among actinoptyerygians, and in fact, perhaps the entire osteichthyan (bony fish and tetrapods) tree of life.
However, the greatest impediment to elucidating these patterns is the lack of a well-resolved, highly-supported phylogenetic tree of Polypteridae.
Indeed, ancestral reconstruction and geometric morphometric analyses revealed that the patterns of morphological evolution in Polypteridae are similar to those seen in other osteichthyans, thus implying the underlying genetic and developmental mechanisms responsible for those patterns were established early in the evolutionary history of Osteichthyes.