It is my hope that this collection of reviews can be profitably read by all who are interested in evolutionary biology. However, I would like to specifically target it for two disparate groups of biologists seldom men- tioned in the same sentence, classical ichthyologists and molecular biologists. Since classical times, and perhaps even before, ichthyologists have stood in awe at the tremendous diversity of fishes. The bulk of effort in the field has always been directed toward understanding this diversity, i. e. , extracting from it a coherent picture of evolutionary processes and lineages. This effort has, in turn, always been overwhelmingly based upon morphological comparisons. The practical advantages of such compari- sons, especially the ease with which morphological data can be had from preserved museum specimens, are manifold. But considered objectively (outside its context of "tradition"), morphological analysis alone is a poor tool for probing evolutionary processes or elucidating relationships. The concepts of "relationship" and of "evolution" are inherently genetic ones, and the genetic bases of morphological traits are seldom known in detail and frequently unknown entirely. Earlier in this century, several workers, notably Gordon, Kosswig, Schmidt, and, in his salad years, Carl Hubbs, pioneered the application of genetic techniques and modes of reasoning to ichthyology. While certain that most contemporary ichth- yologists are familiar with this body of work, I am almost equally certain that few of them regard it as pertinent to their own efforts.
- Paperback / softback
- Publication Date:
- Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
- Country of origin:
- United States
- Dimensions (mm):
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