Vertebrate Limb Evolution

Michel Laurin

in How Vertebrates Left the Water

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780520266476
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947986 | DOI:
Vertebrate Limb Evolution

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To understand the colonization of land by vertebrates, this chapter studies the origin and evolution of limbs, and especially of their skeleton, first examining the vertebrate skeleton, and then discussing the study of the origin of digits using Hox gene expression patterns in limb or fin buds. It also examines the study of sarcopterygian fins and the origin of digits using molecular developmental data. The gills of Acanthostega and the original function of the tetrapod limb are also examined. Finally, the chapter discusses the use of bone microanatomy to infer the lifestyle of early stegocephalians.

Keywords: land vertebrates; limbs; vertebrate skeleton; Hox gene expression; fins; digits; gills; Acanthosthega; bone microanatomy; stegocephalians

Chapter.  5864 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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