Chapter

Synthesis and Conclusion

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520266476.003.0007
Synthesis and Conclusion

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This concluding chapter summarizes the data on the reconstruction of the history of the conquest of land by vertebrates, arguing that all known Devonian stegocephalians were primitively aquatic and that aquatic to terrestrial lifestyles evolved in a complex way. It also presents the three hypotheses as to why vertebrates ventured landward (i.e., to seek prey, to escape predators, or to raise body temperature), and suggests that these selective pressures have played a role in the evolution of terrestrial vertebrates.

Keywords: vertebrates; stegocephalians; aquatic lifestyle; terrestrial lifestyle; evolution; terrestrial vertebrates

Chapter.  1838 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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