A new Mississippian (early Carboniferous) tetrapod showing early diversification of the hind limbs

Clack, Jennifer A., Smithson, Timothy R. and Ruta, Marcello (2022) A new Mississippian (early Carboniferous) tetrapod showing early diversification of the hind limbs. Communications Biology, 5 (1). ISSN 2399-3642

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-022-03199-x

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A new Mississippian (early Carboniferous) tetrapod showing early diversification of the hind limbs
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Abstract

The taxonomically diverse terrestrial tetrapod fauna from the late Mississippian East Kirkton Limestone includes the earliest known members of stem Amphibia and stem Amniota. Here we name and describe a new East Kirkton tetrapod with an unusual hind limb morphology reminiscent of that of several stem- and primitive crown amniotes. It displays a unique ilium with two slender and elongate processes and a 5-digit pes with a long, stout metatarsal IV and a greatly elongate digit IV. The new taxon broadens our knowledge of East Kirkton tetrapods, adding to the remarkable diversity of their hind limb constructions, functional specializations, locomotory modes, and adaptations to a wide variety of substrates. An unweighted character parsimony analysis places the new taxon in a polytomy alongside some other Carboniferous groups. Conversely, weighted parsimony and Bayesian analyses retrieve it among the earliest diverging stem amniotes, either as the basalmost anthracosaur or within a clade that includes also Eldeceeon and Silvanerpeton, crownward of an array of chroniosaurs plus anthracosaurs.

Keywords:East Kirkton, tetrapod, limbs, locomotion, basal stem amniotes, phylogeny
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
F Physical Sciences > F641 Palaeontology
C Biological Sciences > C181 Biodiversity
C Biological Sciences > C390 Zoology not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences (pre-August 2022)
ID Code:48596
Deposited On:21 Mar 2022 15:23

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