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Fishes of the World

Flora / FaunaOut of Print
There is a newer edition

Fishes of the World

Fishes of the World, Fifth Edition is the only modern, phylogenetically...

NHBS Price: £135.00 $174 / €155 approx

By: Joseph S Nelson(Author)

624 pages, 200 b/w illustrations, tables

John Wiley & Sons

Hardback | Mar 2006 | Edition: 4 | #158226 | ISBN: 0471250317
Out of Print Details

About this book

Fishes of the World, Fourth Edition is the updated edition of a true classic in the field. A unique presentation of a modern, cladistically based classification of all the major living and fossil fish groups, this indispensable reference helps scientists and others identify and classify specimens, make familial connections, understand the evolution of fishes, and springboard into further research.

The taxonomy of fishes presented includes the anatomical characteristics, distribution, common and scientific names, and phylogenetic relationships for all 515 families of living fishes.

"Of all the literature I use while preparing field guides for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Nelson's Fishes of the World is, by far, the one I refer to most often. [This] book is a standard reference {...] I continue to use it extensively in the ichthyology courses I teach, particularly in laboratory sessions."
– Kent E. Carpenter Old Dominion University

"Fishes of the World is a unique and essential resource for anyone seriously interested in the diversity and evolution of fishes. The family accounts provide quick summaries of current knowledge on all groups of living fishes and many key fossil taxa. It is a required work for every student in my laboratory."
– William E. Bemis Kingsbury Director of Shoals Marine Laboratory, Cornell University

"Only classics are known by the single name of their author, and certainly [Nelson's book] has for four editions been such a book for all those who seek an accessible, up-to-date, readable reference on fish classification. Once again, Nelson presents a balanced view of the sometimes tumultuous, but ever-exciting, study of the phylogenetic relationships and classification of fishes. In doing so, Nelson makes an excellent case for organismal biology, highlighting the many and varied morphological characters we use to diagnose fish taxa and differentiate among the 515 families of living species."
– Lynne R. Parenti Curator of Fishes and Research Scientist, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution



Subphylum Craniata
Superclass Myxinomorphi to Osteostracomorphi
Superclass Gnathostomata
†Class Placodermi
Class Chondrichthyes
Subclass Holocephali
Order Chimaeriformes
Subclass Elasmobranchii
Order Heterodontiformes
Order Orectolobiformes
Order Lamniformes
Order Carcharhiniformes
Order Hexanchiformes
Order Echinorhiniformes
Order Squaliformes
Order Squatiniformes
Order Pristiophoriformes
Order Torpediniformes
Order Pristiformes
Order Rajiformes
Order Myliobatiformes
†Class Acanthodii
Class Actinopterygii
Subclass Cladistia
Order Polypteriformes
Subclass Chrondrostei
Order Acipenseriformes
Subclass Neopterygii
Order Lepisosteiformes
Order Amiiformes
Division Teleostei
Subdivision Osteoglossomorpha
Order Hiodontiformes
Order Osteoglossiformes
Subdivision Elopomorpha
Order Elopiformes
Order Albuliformes
Order Anguilliformes
Order Saccopharyngiformes
Subdivision Ostarioclupeomorpha (= Otocephala)
Superorder Clupeomorpha
Order Clupeiformes
Superorder Ostariophysi
Order Gonorynchiformes
Order Cypriniformes
Order Characiformes
Order Siluriformes
Order Gymnotiformes
Subdivision Euteleostei
Superorder Protacanthopterygii
Order Argentiniformes
Order Osmeriformes
Order Salmoniformes
Order Esociformes
Superorder Stenopterygii
Order Stomiiformes
Superorder Ateleopodomorpha
Order Ateleopodiformes
Superorder Cyclosquamata
Order Aulopiformes
Superorder Scopelomorpha
Order Myctophiformes
Superorder Lampriomorpha
Order Lampriformes
Superorder Polymixiomorpha
Order Polymixiiformes
Superorder Paracanthopterygii
Order Percopsiformes
Order Gadiformes
Order Ophidiiformes
Order Batrachoidiformes
Order Lophiiformes
Superorder Acanthopterygii
Series Mugilomorpha
Order Mugiliformes
Series Atherinomorpha
Order Atheriniformes
Order Beloniformes
Order Cyprinodontiformes
Series Percomorpha
Order Stephanoberyciformes
Order Beryciformes
Order Zeiformes
Order Gasterosteiformes
Order Synbranchiformes
Order Scorpaeniformes
Order Perciformes
Order Pleuronectiformes
Order Tetraodontiformes
Class Sarcopterygii
Subclass Coelacanthimorpha
Order Coelacanthiformes
Subclass Dipnotetrapodomorpha
Order Ceratodontiformes
Unranked Tetrapodomorpha
Infraclass Tetrapoda


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Joseph S. Nelson, PHD, is Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He is also Chair of the Joint ASIH-AFS Committee on Names of Fishes.

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