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The Syncranial Morphology of the Bastard Sole Microchir Us Theophila (Risso, 1810) (Pleuronectiformes, Soleidae)

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

This paper describes the shape of the syncranial elements of the Bastard Sole Microchirus theophila. As the aim is a contribution to a basic description of cranial anatomy to be applied in comparative functional morphology of flatfishes, the descriptive methods developed by BAREL et al. (1976) for the comparative functional morphology of Cichlidae have been applied. Microchirus theophila shows all the major features of the Soleidae, a derived family of the teleost order Pleuronectiformes. The characteristic asymmetrical architecture of this order is manifested best in the neurocranium, suspensorium and oral jaw apparatus. With M. theophila as an example, the shape aspects of the syncranial asymmetry are described and illustrated in this paper for the first time. As the extent of asymmetry shown by the flatfishes reaches far behind any comparable state met in other teleosts (see e.g. HUBBS & HUBBS, 1945; DE BLOK, 1955), these fishes are of special interest to all levels of morphology, especially of constructional morphology.

Affiliations: 1: Zoologisches Institut der Universität Basel, Rheinsprung 9, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland


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