Alexander Vargas

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Within developmental biology, the digits of the wing of birds are considered on embryological grounds to be digits 2, 3 and 4. In contrast, within paleontology, wing digits are named 1, 2, 3 as a result of phylogenetic analysis of fossil taxa indicating that birds descended from theropod dinosaurs that had lost digits 4 and 5. It has been argued that the(More)
A highly conserved spatio-temporal pattern of cartilage formation reveals that the digits of the bird wing develop from positions that become digits 2, 3, and 4 in other amniotes. However, the morphology of the digits of early birds like Archaeopteryx corresponds to that of digits 1, 2, and 3 of other archosaurs. A hypothesis is that a homeotic(More)
Laboratorio de Ecofisiologı́a, Departamento de Ecologı́a, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Las Palmeras 3425, Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile (CSG) Museo Paleontológico de Caldera, Avenida Wheelright 1, Caldera, Region de Atacama, Chile (CSG, MES) Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Avenida(More)
The controversy surrounding the alleged Lamarckian fraud of Paul Kammerer's midwife toad experiments has intrigued generations of biologists. A re-examination of his descriptions of hybrid crosses of treated and nontreated toads reveals parent-of-origin effects like those documented in epigenetic inheritance. Modification of the extracellular matrix of the(More)
BACKGROUND Comparative morphology identifies the digits of the wing of birds as 1,2 and 3, but they develop at embryological positions that become digits 2, 3 and 4 in other amniotes. A hypothesis to explain this is that a homeotic frame shift of digital identity occurred in the evolution of the bird wing, such that digits 1,2 and 3 are developing from(More)
Fossil evidence documenting the evolutionary transition from theropod dinosaurs to birds indicates unambiguously that the digits of the wing of birds are digits 1, 2, and 3. However, some embryological evidence suggests that these digits are 2, 3, and 4. This apparent lack of correspondence has been described as the greatest challenge to the widely accepted(More)
Digit identity in the avian wing is a classical example of conflicting anatomical and embryological evidence regarding digit homology. Anatomical in conjunction with phylogenetic evidence supports the hypothesis that the three remaining digits in the bird wing are digits 1, 2, and 3. At the same time, various lines of embryological evidence support the(More)
From early dinosaurs with as many as nine wrist bones, modern birds evolved to develop only four ossifications. Their identity is uncertain, with different labels used in palaeontology and developmental biology. We examined embryos of several species and studied chicken embryos in detail through a new technique allowing whole-mount immunofluorescence of the(More)
The homology of the digits in the bird wing is a high-profile controversy in developmental and evolutionary biology. The embryonic position of the digits cartilages with respect to the primary axis (ulnare and ulna) corresponds to 2, 3, 4, but comparative-evolutionary morphology supports 1, 2, 3. A homeotic frameshift of digit identity in evolution could(More)