Data_Sheet_2_Diversity and Evolution of Mineralized Skeletal Tissues in Chondrichthyans.PDF
The diversity of skeletal tissues in extant vertebrates includes mineralized and unmineralized structures made of bone, cartilage, or tissues of intermediate nature. This variability, together with the diverse nature of skeletal tissues in fossil species question the origin of skeletonization in early vertebrates. In particular, the study of skeletal tissues in cartilaginous fishes is currently mostly restrained to tessellated cartilage, a derived form of mineralized cartilage that evolved at the origin of this group. In this work, we describe the architectural and histological diversity of neural arch mineralization in cartilaginous fishes. The observed variations in the architecture include tessellated cartilage, with or without more massive sites of mineralization, and continuously mineralized neural arches devoid of tesserae. The histology of these various architectures always includes globular mineralization that takes place in the cartilaginous matrix. In many instances, the mineralized structures also include a fibrous component that seems to emerge from the perichondrium and they may display intermediate features, ranging from partly cartilaginous to mostly fibrous matrix, similar to fibrocartilage. Among these perichondrial mineralized tissues is also found, in few species, a lamellar arrangement of the mineralized extracellular matrix. The evolution of the mineralized tissues in cartilaginous fishes is discussed in light of current knowledge of their phylogenetic relationships.