Fish squamation is developed in late ontogeny. Therefore, the conditions of development significantly affect its characteristics (number of scales). This study is aimed at considering the influence of external and internal factors on variation of the number of scales in fish. Acceleration of development results in decrease of the number of scales, while it increases with retardation. Experiments on regulation of thyroid status of fish showed that the certain mechanism of alteration of the number of scales is related with heterochrony, such as a shift of the timing of squamation. Accelerated development is caused by early scale development at smaller body length, while retarded development is characterized with later scale development and at greater body length. Data considering heterochrony as the possible reason for differences in the number of scales in related fish species are represented. Moreover, alterations of the distance between scales (morphogenetic count) can serve as another alteration mechanism of the number of scales in fish (especially phyletically distant species).
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 8, 2011
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