Morphology of the earliest reconstructable tetrapod

Beznosov, Pavel A., Clack, Jennifer A., Luksevics, Ervins, Ruta, Marcello and Ahlberg, Per E. (2019) Morphology of the earliest reconstructable tetrapod. Nature . ISSN 0028-0836

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1636-y

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Morphology of the earliest reconstructable tetrapod
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Abstract

The taxonomic diversity of Devonian tetrapods has increased dramatically in recent decades, but much of this diversity consists of tantalising fragments. The interpretative framework for the earliest stages of tetrapod evolution is still dominated by the near-complete Ichthyostega and Acanthostega, with supporting roles for the less complete but partly reconstructable Ventastega and Tulerpeton. All four are of late Famennian age, 10 million years younger than the earliest tetrapod fragments and nearly 30 million years younger than the oldest footprints. Here we describe a tetrapod from the earliest Famennian of Russia, Parmastega aelidae gen. et sp. nov., represented by three-dimensional material that allows reconstruction of almost the entire skull and dermal shoulder girdle. Its raised orbits, lateral line canals and weakly ossified postcranial skeleton suggest a largely aquatic, surface-cruising animal. In Bayesian and parsimony-based phylogenetic analyses the majority of trees place Parmastega as sister group to all other tetrapods.

Keywords:Devonian, Russia, dermal skull, palate, lower jaw, shoulder girdle
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F600 Geology
C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C181 Biodiversity
F Physical Sciences > F641 Palaeontology
C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:37873
Deposited On:22 Nov 2019 10:42

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