Temporal range: (Possible Carboniferous record, molecular evidence supports Devonian origin)
Polypterus senegalus.jpg
Polypterus senegalus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Subclass: Cladistia
Pander 1860 emend. Cope 1871 sensu Lund 2000

Cladistia is a clade of bony fishes whose only living members are the bichirs.[1] Their major synapomorphies are a heterocercal tail in which the dorsal fin has independent rays, and a posteriorly elongated parasphenoid.

Cladistia are the earliest diverging branch of living Actinopterygii, sister group of Actinopteri, the group which includes all other living ray finned fish.

Aside from bichirs, other extinct fish groups thought to be members of the group include the Scanilepiformes, known from the Triassic period.[2]

  1. ^ Lecointre G, Le Guyader H (2007). The Tree of Life: A Phylogenetic Classification. Harvard University Press Reference Library. ISBN 978-0-674-02183-9.
  2. ^ Argyriou T, Giles S, Friedman M, Romano C, Kogan I, Sánchez-Villagra MR (November 2018). "Internal cranial anatomy of Early Triassic species of †Saurichthys (Actinopterygii: †Saurichthyiformes): implications for the phylogenetic placement of †saurichthyiforms". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 18 (1): 161. doi:10.1186/s12862-018-1264-4. PMC 6211452. PMID 30382811.

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