actinopterygian (plural actinopterygians) (zoology) Any of the ray-finned fish of the taxonomic class Actinopterygii. 1999, Bernd Fritzsch, 2: Hearing in Two Worlds, Richard R. Fay, Arthur N. Popper (editors), Comparative Hearing: Fish and Amphibians, page 19, The ear of all nonteleostean actinopterygian fishes (Grande and Bemis 1996) does not differ much from that of ratfish (considered by most an ancient line of cartilaginous fish), with the notable exception of the position of the ultricular macula. 2004, Bhavna Khanna, Ichthyology Handbook, page 108, The otico-orbitotemporal region is formed by a single ossification in primitive actinopterygians but by many separate ossifications in advanced actinopterygians, expecially teleosts. 2004, M. L. J. Stiassny, E. O, Wiley, G. D. Johnson, M. R, de Carvalho, 24: Gnathostome Fishes, Joel Cracraft, Michael J. Donoghue (editors), Assembling the Tree of Life, page 416, The most basal of living actinopterygians are the bichirs (Polypteridae), a small group (11 spp.) of African fishes previously thought to be related to the lobefin fishes (sarcopterygians), or to form a third group.
Adjective actinopterygian (comparative more actinopterygian, superlative most actinopterygian) Of the nature of fish of the class Actinopterygii. 1908, British Association for the Advancement of Science, Report of the Annual Meeting, Volume 77, page 546, Already some years ago it was pointed out that the skeleton of the pelvic fin and girdle of Polypterus is much more actinopterygian than crossopterygian in structure. 1909, Edwin Stephen Goodrich, Ray Lankester (editor), A Treatise on Zoology: Part IX: Vertebrata Craniata: (First Fascicle: Cyclostomes and Fishes), page 296, Still more Actinopterygian is the skeleton of the pelvic fin; here only four bony radials are preserved, separately articulating with the pelvic girdle.
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