The osteology and relationships of the wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri), a scombroid fish. American Museum novitates ; no. 1000

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New York City : The American Museum of Natural History
"A study of the osteology of the highly specialized scombroid, Acanthocybium solandri, substantiates the work of previous authors in placing it in the family Scombridae. Prolonged consideration of its alleged relationship to the xiphiiform fishes brings out the following points: 1. Acanthocybium is unique among the Scombridae in its extremely long and shallow body which reflects externally its many segmented vertebral column. The Xiphiiformes, on the other hand, have a pseudo-dolichosomy which is brought about by the long sword alone, for they have the fewest number of vertebrae of any species in the order (with the exception of Luvarus imperalus). 2. In quality of body form Acanthocybium is one of the Scombridae and is quite unlike the Xiphiiformes. 3. Comparison of the skulls of Acanthocybium, Istiophorus, and Xiphias shows that the specializations seen in the Xiphiiformes are the result of altered stress developing with the evolution of the sword. 4. However, the sword may just as easily have arisen from the primitive Scomber as from Acanthocybium, for both have equally pronounced premaxillae. 5. A common scombroid heritage is indicated by the general similarity of neurocrania in the three genera studied. 6. The quality of the vertebral column as a whole is very different in all three genera ... 7. The individual vertebrae of the three types are so very different in form that it is evident that one is dealing with three divergent lines of scombroid evolution. It is concluded, therefore, that the wahoo, Acanthocybium solandri, is an aberrant but true member of the Scombridae with no genetic relation or even parallelism to the Xiphiiformes. If descendants of an Acanthocybium-like ancestor are to be sought perhaps they may he found among the primitive cutlass-fishes, such as Ruvettus, which are characterized by many segmented columns"--P. 30.
32 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 31-32).