The aim of this work is the anatomical, systematic and phylogenetic study of the Aspidorhynchidae, which is a widespread family known from the Middle Jurassic until the Upper Cretaceous. The first part of this work is devoted to the detailed description of the cranial and post-cranial skeleton of the three genera of Aspidorhynchidae: Aspidorhynchus, Belonostomus and Vinctifer. The description of each genus, based on the type species, starts with a brief historical review and the spatio-temporal distribution. Follows a review of the other species with a diagnosis based on characters that define the genus and justify the validity of the species. This detailed inventory leads to a census of valid species, synonymous species as well as to species excluded from the genus. The second part is concerned with the phylogenetic analysis of the Aspidorhynchidae. These form a monophyletic group within the teleosts, whereby Belonostomus and Vinctifer are affirmed as a monophyletic group. The teleosts are considered as a well differentiated clade in which the aspidorhynchids form the basal taxa. On the other hand, the interrelationships among the major lineages of Neopterygii (halecomorphs, semionotiforms sensu Olsen & McCune 1991, pachycormids and teleosts) are unresolved. Finally, the historical biogeographic analysis of the aspidorhynchids indicates a Pangeal-type relationship, dating as far back as the Lower Jurassic.
Pisces, Aspidorhynchidae, taxonomy, systematic, biogeography, Mesozoic