The development of the anterior vertebrae were examined in late larval and early juvenile Chanos chanos, with a focus on character states that have been used in ostariophysan systematics such as the expansion of dorsal cartilages of the anterior neural arches. In Chanos, these changes take place in juvenile fishes beginning at about 12.0 mm SL. This contrasts sharply with the ontogeny of the otophysan Weberian apparatus, which occurs in early to midlarval stages. A supraneural space is present in Chanos, between neural arch 1 and the occiput. It is into this space that the cartilages of neural arch 1 and the supraoccipital expand. We also found paired nodular cartilages are present in the supraneural space but are incorporated into the supraoccipital cartilage by about 15.5 mm SL. These cartilages may represent an accessory neural arch (ANA).

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