GEOGRAPHY

The divergence of gar eels 100 million years ago reproduced the formation of the American continent


Phylogenetic and biogeographic processes of gar eels based on genomic data and fossil evidence. Photo courtesy of interviewee

Gorselfish fish are a group of ancient and surviving species, with a fossil record dating back to strata dating back 150 million years, so species differentiation of gar eels can be well used to reveal the evolutionary history of the earth and changes in water systems. The team of researchers He Shunping of the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the team of Professor Thomas Near of Yale University found that the differentiation time of various groups of gars perfectly reproduced the major geological tectonic events of the Mesozoic era, including the formation of the American continent, the expansion of the early Atlantic Ocean, and the structure of the North American continental rivers in the Cretaceous.

Due to the influence of water system changes, the species differentiation and geographical distribution pattern of fish are closely related to the evolutionary history of the earth, and the integration of molecular data of living fish species with the fossil record of extinction can provide biological evidence for the evolution of the earth’s history. However, most of the living fish appeared in the late Mesozoic and Cenozoic era, and only a small number of living fish species differentiation can be traced back to the Mesozoic, and the ancient gar eel fish have this research value.

The research team performed low-coverage genome sequencing on all 7 species of gars, based on 1105 orthologous genes identified, combined with a large number of fossil records, to systematically analyze the species differentiation and biogeographic processes of garfish. Three studies have been found to find that: first, two living genera of the gar family of the gar family, the genus Grande and the genus Gor, diverged 100 million years ago; Second, the differentiation time of various groups of gar eels perfectly reproduces the major geological tectonic events of the Mesozoic era, including the formation of the American continent, the expansion of the early Atlantic Ocean, and the structure of the rivers of the North American continent in the Cretaceous. Third, the crown group of the genus Damselfish and the genus Gornet originated in eastern North America in the Cenozoic era, indicating that eastern North America was both the origin of the living gar eel and the refuge of this ancient taxa. (Source: China Science News, Li Sihui, Sun Hui)

Related paper information:https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syac080



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