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Salmonids

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Salmonids

Salmonidae
Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous–Recent
[1]
Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Infraclass: Teleostei
Superorder: Protacanthopterygii
Order: Salmoniformes
Bleeker, 1859
Family: Salmonidae
G. Cuvier, 1816
Genera
(see text)

Salmonidae are a family of ray-finned fish, the only living family currently placed in the order Salmoniformes. It includes salmon, trout, chars, freshwater whitefishes and graylings. The Atlantic salmon and trout of genus Salmo give the family and order their names.

Salmonids have a relatively primitive appearance among the teleost fish, with the pelvic fins being placed far back, and an adipose fin towards the rear of the back. They are slender fish, with rounded scales and forked tails. Their mouths contain a single row of sharp teeth.[2] Although the smallest species is just 13 centimetres (5.1 in) long as an adult, most are much larger, and the largest can reach 2 metres (6.6 ft).[1]

All salmonids spawn in fresh water, but in many cases, the fish spend most of their lives at sea, returning to the rivers only to reproduce. This life cycle is described as anadromous. They are predators, feeding on small crustaceans, aquatic insects, and smaller fish.[2]

Evolution

Current salmonids arose from three lineages: whitefish (Coregoninae), graylings (Thymallinae), and the char, trout and salmons (Salmonidae). Generally, all three lineages are accepted to share a suite of derived traits indicating a monophyletic group.[3]

Salmonidae first appear in the fossil record in the middle Eocene with the fossil Eosalmo driftwoodensis first described from fossils found at Driftwood Creek, central British Columbia. This genus shares traits found in the Salmoninae, whitefish and grayling lineages. Hence, E. driftwoodensis is an archaic salmonid, representing an important stage in salmonid evolution.[3]

A gap appears in the salmonine fossil record after E. driftwoodensis until the late Miocene about seven million years ago (mya), when trout-like fossils appear in Idaho, in the Clarkia Lake beds.[4] Several of these species appear to be Oncorhynchus—the current genus for Pacific salmon and some trout. The presence of these species so far inland established that Oncorhynchus was not only present in the Pacific drainages before the beginning of the Pliocene (~5–6 mya), but also that rainbow and cutthroat trout, and Pacific salmon lineages had diverged before the beginning of the Pliocene. Consequently, the split between Oncorhynchus and Salmo (Atlantic salmon) must have occurred well before the Pliocene. Suggestions have gone back as far as the early Miocene (~20 mya).[3][5]

Classification

Together with the closely related Esociformes (the pikes and related fishes), Osmeriformes (e.g. smelts) and Argentiniformes, the Salmoniformes comprise the superorder Protacanthopterygii.

The Salmonidae (and Salmoniformes) are divided into three subfamilies and around ten genera:[1]

Order Salmoniformes

Timeline of genera

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from: -33.9   till:  -23.03    color:oligocene  text:Oligo.            
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color:earlycretaceous bar:NAM2  from:-145.5    till:-130 text:Chardonius
color:earlycretaceous bar:NAM3  from:-145.5    till:-130 text:Pseudoleptolepis
color:earlycretaceous bar:NAM4 from:-125    till:-112 text:Helgolandichthys
color:latecretaceous bar:NAM5 from:-99.6    till:-93.5 text:Barcarenichthyes
color:latecretaceous bar:NAM6 from:-99.6    till:-93.5 text:Gaudryella
color:latecretaceous bar:NAM7 from:-99.6    till:-93.5 text:Gharbouria
color:latecretaceous bar:NAM8  from:-99.6    till:-93.5 text:Ginsburgia
color:latecretaceous bar:NAM9  from:-99.6    till:-93.5 text:Pseudoberyx
color:latecretaceous bar:NAM10  from:-70.6    till:-65.5 text:Goudkoffia
color:latecretaceous bar:NAM11 from:-70.6    till:-65.5 text:Natlandia
color:eocene bar:NAM12 from:-55.8    till:-15.97 text:Thaumaturus
color:eocene bar:NAM13 from:-51.0    till:-45 text:Eosalmo
color:miocene bar:NAM14  from:-23.03    till:0 text:Salmo
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color:miocene bar:NAM16  from:-11.61    till:-2.59 text:Rhabdofario
color:miocene bar:NAM17  from:-11.61    till:-2.59 text:Smilodonichthys
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color:miocene bar:NAM19 from:-11.61    till:0 text:Prosopium
color:miocene bar:NAM20 from:-11.61    till:0 text:Salvelinus
color:pliocene bar:NAM21 from:-5.33    till:0 text:Oncorhynchus
color:pleistocene bar:NAM22 from:-2.59    till:0 text:Thymallus

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from: -2.588    till: 0   color:quaternary    text:Q.

Notes

References

  • Behnke, Robert J. Trout and Salmon of North America, Illustrated by Joseph R. Tomelleri. 1st Chanticleer Press ed. New York: The Free Press, 2002. ISBN 0-7432-2220-2
  • Dushkina, L.A. Farming of Salmonids in Russia, Aquaculture & Fisheries Management; Jan1994, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p121-126
  • Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2004). FishBase. October 2004 version.
  • Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2004). FishBase. October 2004 version.
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