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Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 78 (3): 343-391, 2005
Comparative cranial osteology of three species of the flatfish genus Paralichthys (Pleuronectiformes, Paralichthyidae) from the southwestern Atlantic
An osteological analysis of the cranial skeleton of the southwestern Atlantic flatfish species Paralichthys isosceles, P. orbignyanus and P. patagonicus was carried out based on comparative morphology and morphometrics of the bones. The objective was to provide osteological evidence of diagnostic value for a correct identification of the flatfish species. Methods for preparing disarticulated skeletons were used for both dissected fresh-frosen and alcohol-preserved specimens. Also methods of clearing and staining for bone and cartilage were applied for small fish specimens. Potentially diagnostic features were found to distinguish among species in the right parethmoid, left lachrymal, angulo-articular, mesopterygoid, the otoliths, and the number of dentary teeth. Relationships between bones are discussed and bone characteristics are compared with those found in other Paralichthys species and in other Pleuronectiform species.
Key words:
Pleuronectiformes, Paralichthys, ostelogy, cranial skeleton, southwestern Atlantic

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