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Evolutionary biology

A flourishing of fish forms

According to an innovative exercise in 'morphospace analysis', modern fish owe their stunning diversity in part to an ecological cleaning of the slate by the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous.

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Figure 1: Explorations in morphospace.
Figure 2: Examples of spiny-fin diversity.

HAPLOCHROMIS/WIKIMEDIA

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Alfaro, M., Santini, F. A flourishing of fish forms. Nature 464, 840–842 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/464840a

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