The major aim of this work is, to help clarify the interrelationships of catfishes, with major implications on the study of the general evolution of these fishes. A great part of this work, therefore, deals with a cladistic analysis of catfish higher-level phylogeny based on extensive morphological data, in which are included some terminal taxa not included in previous analyses, but principally a large number of characters traditionally excluded from those analyses, with particular attention being given to catfish morphology. This analysis gives particular importance to complex, integrated structures. It will be interest to students, ichthyologists and biologists working in evolution, taxonomy and phylogeny.
Catfishes : Introduction: Phylogenetic Position within Teleostei; Catfish Families; Historical Overview of Higher Level Phylogeny of Catfishes; Catfish, an Exceptional Biological Group Methodology & Material: Phylogenetic Methodology; Delimitation of Terminal Taxa; Material, Techniques and Nomenclature Phylogenetic Analysis: Character Description and Comparison; Cladistic Analysis, Diagnosis for Clades, and Comparison with Previous Hypotheses; Character State Changes for Individual Genera; Results of Phylogenetic Analysis: Major Outlines Higher-level Phylogeny and Macroevolution of Catfishes: A Discussion: Structures Associated with Movements of the Mandibular Barbels; Pectoral Girdle Complex; Adductor Mandibulae Complex; Palatine-maxillary System; Suspensorium and Associated Structures; Elastic Spring Apparatus; A Discussion on the Origin and Biogeographic Distribution of Catfishes Catfishes, Case Study for General Discussions of Phylogenetic and Macroevolutionary Topics: Primary Homologies, Secondary Homologies, and a Priori Versus a Posteriori Explanations in Evolutionary Biology; Homoplasies, Consistency Index, and Complexity of Macroevolution; Functional Uncouplings and Morphological Macroevolution; Myological Versus Osteological Characters in Phylogenetic Reconstructions; Analysis of Distinct Anatomical Regions in Phylogenetic Reconstructions; Aptations, Exaptations and Adaptations in Macroevolutionary Studies; Parallelisms, Convergences and Constraints in Macroevolution; Cordelia‘s Dilemma, Historical Bias, and General Evolutionary Trends; Punctuated Equilibrium, Speciation, Living Fossils and Macroevolution