Ever since Owen: changing perspectives on the early evolution of tetrapods

Coates, Michael I., Ruta, Marcello and Friedman, Matt (2008) Ever since Owen: changing perspectives on the early evolution of tetrapods. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 39 . pp. 571-592. ISSN 1543-592X

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.38.09120...

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Item Status:Live Archive


The traditional notion of a gap between fishes and amphibians has been
closed by a wealth of fish-like fossil tetrapods, many discovered since the
mid 1980s. This review summarizes these discoveries and explores their
significance relative to changing ideas about early tetrapod phylogeny, biogeography,
and ecology. Research emphasis can now shift to broader-based
questions, including the whole of the early tetrapod radiation, from the
divergence from other lobed-finned fishes to the origins of modern amphibians
and amniotes. The fish-to-tetrapod morphological transition occurred
within the Upper Devonian; the divergence of modern tetrapod groups is an
Early Carboniferous event. Modern tetrapods emerged in the aftermath of
one of the five major extinction episodes in the fossil record, but the earlier
Devonian tetrapod radiation is not well understood. Tetrapod limbs, paired
fins, and comparative developmental data are reviewed; again, research emphasis
needs to change to explore the origins of tetrapod diversity.

Keywords:phylogeny, development, paleontology, vertebrates, limbs
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
F Physical Sciences > F641 Palaeontology
C Biological Sciences > C141 Developmental Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:6232
Deposited On:25 Sep 2012 19:24

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