Bailey, Reeve M. Formerly, Division of Fishes, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Boschung, Herbert T. Formerly, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Maisey, John G. Division of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York.
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A taxonomic fish group comprising the bony fishes. The Osteichthyes grouping (often considered a superclass) consists of the classes Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) and Sarcopterygii (lungfishes and lobefins, or coelacanths, but excluding tetrapods). (Another related term is Euteleostomi, which applies to a monophyletic group consisting of Actinopterygii and Sarcopterygii, including tetrapods.) The Actinopterygii and Sarcopterygii are well-defined phyletic lines that had evolved by the Middle Devonian, and many members of the two taxa (especially the Actinopterygii) persist today. See also: Actinopterygii; Devonian; Sarcopterygii; Teleostomi
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