Homoplasies, consistency index and the complexity of morphological evolution: the catfishes (Teleostei: Siluriformes) as a case study for general phylogeny and macroevolution

Dec 1, 2007

Catfishes constitute a highly diversified, cosmopolitan group that represents about one third of all freshwater fishes and is one of the most diverse Vertebrate taxa. The detailed study of the Siluriformes can, thus, provide useful data, and illustrative examples, for broader discussions on general phylogeny and macroevolution. In this short note I briefly expose how the study of this remarkably diverse group of fishes reveals an example of highly homoplasic, complex 'mosaic' morphological evolution.