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Diverse group of fish with skeletons of bone rather than cartilage / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Osteichthyes (/ˌɒstˈɪkθi.z/), commonly referred to as the bony fish, is a diverse superclass of vertebrate animals that have skeletons primarily composed of bone tissue. They can be contrasted with the Chondrichthyes, which have skeletons primarily composed of cartilage. The vast majority of extant fish are members of Osteichthyes, which is an extremely diverse and abundant group consisting of 45 orders, over 435 families and 28,000 species.[2] It is the largest class of vertebrates in existence today.

Quick facts: Osteichthyes Temporal range Late Silurian–P...
Temporal range:
Late SilurianPresent, 425–0 Ma[1]
Example of Osteichthyes: Queensland lungfish and West Indian Ocean coelacanth (two Sarcopterygii), Iridescent shark and American black sturgeon (two Actinopterygii)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Clade: Eugnathostomata
Clade: Teleostomi
Superclass: Osteichthyes
Huxley, 1880

The group Osteichthyes is divided into the ray-finned fish (Actinopterygii) and lobe-finned fish (Sarcopterygii, which gave rise to all land vertebrates). The oldest known fossils of bony fish are about 425 million years old,[1] which are also transitional fossils, showing a tooth pattern that is in between the tooth rows of sharks and bony fishes.[3]

Osteichthyes can be compared to Euteleostomi. In paleontology the terms are synonymous. In ichthyology the difference is that Euteleostomi presents a cladistic view which includes the terrestrial tetrapods that evolved from lobe-finned fish. Until recently, the view of most ichthyologists has been that Osteichthyes were paraphyletic and include only fishes.[4] However, since 2013 widely cited ichthyology papers have been published with phylogenetic trees that treat the Osteichthyes as a clade including tetrapods.[5][6][7][4]

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