Class SARCOPTERYGII


Common name: Lobe-finned fishes and four-legged vertebrates
Summary:

The Sarcopterygii, or lobe-fin fishes comprise one of two living lineages of bony fishes, the Osteichthyes. The other lineage is the Actinopterygii - the ray-finned fishes.

Although ray-finned fishes are the largest and most successful vertebrae lineage, one lobe-fin group was very usccessful and gave rise to the four-legged vertebrates - the tetrapods (including us humans).

Lobe-fins have fleshy pectoral and pelvic fine that are each joined to the body by a single bone. The pectoral fins articulate with the shoulder via the humerus (the same bone we have in our upper arm) and the pelvic fins articulate to the pelvis via the femur (our upper leg bone).

The lobe-fins first appeared in the fossil record during the Lower Devonian period, and became very successful. Today, however, there are only eight living lobe-fins: two species of coelocanth and six species of lungfish.

Author: Dianne J. Bray

Cite this page as:
Lobe-fins , SARCOPTERYGII, in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Oct 2014, http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/class/7