Until recently, these elusive deep sea fishes where only known from adult female specimens. In 2009, Johnson et al. (2009) showed that both males and juveniles of this group had been classified in their own, separate families: males as Megalomycteridae (largenose fishes) and juveniles as Mirapinnidae (tapetails). Johnson et al. (2009) point out that the whalefishes' combination of extraordinary ontogenetic transformations with extreme sexual dimorphism is unparalleled within vertebrates.
- Johnson, G.D., Paxton J. R., Sutton T. T., Satoh T. P., Sado T., Nishida M., et al. (2009). Deep-sea mystery solved: astonishing larval transformations and extreme sexual dimorphism unite three fish families. Biology Letters. 5(2), 235–9. pdf
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Vertebrate Zoology: An Overdue Family Reunion