Constanze Bickelmann

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Among extant tetrapods, salamanders are unique in showing a reversed preaxial polarity in patterning of the skeletal elements of the limbs, and in displaying the highest capacity for regeneration, including full limb and tail regeneration. These features are particularly striking as tetrapod limb development has otherwise been shown to be a highly conserved(More)
Talpid moles show many specializations in their adult skeleton linked to fossoriality, including enlarged hands when compared to the feet. Heterochrony in developmental mechanisms is hypothesized to account for morphological evolution in skeletal elements. The temporal and spatial distribution of SOX9 expression, which is an early marker of chondrification,(More)
Monotremes are the most basal egg-laying mammals comprised of two extant genera, which are largely nocturnal. Visual pigments, the first step in the sensory transduction cascade in photoreceptors of the eye, have been examined in a variety of vertebrates, but little work has been done to study the rhodopsin of monotremes. We isolated the rhodopsin gene of(More)
Talpids include forms with different degree of fossoriality, with major specializations in the humerus in the case of the fully fossorial moles. We studied the humeral microanatomy of eleven extant and eight extinct talpid taxa of different lifestyles and of two non-fossorial outgroups and examined the effects of size and phylogeny. We tested the hypothesis(More)
Salamanders are the only tetrapods capable of fully regenerating their limbs throughout their entire lives. Much data on the underlying molecular mechanisms of limb regeneration have been gathered in recent years allowing for new comparative studies between salamanders and other tetrapods that lack this unique regenerative potential. By contrast, the(More)
The nocturnal origin of mammals is a longstanding hypothesis that is considered instrumental for the evolution of endothermy, a potential key innovation in this successful clade. This hypothesis is primarily based on indirect anatomical inference from fossils. Here, we reconstruct the evolutionary history of rhodopsin--the vertebrate visual pigment(More)
Fossorial talpid moles use their limbs predominantly for digging, which explains their highly specialized anatomy. The humerus is particularly short and dorsoventrally rotated, with broadened distal and proximal parts where muscles attach and which facilitate powerful abductive movements. The radius and ulna are exceptionally robust and short. The ulna has(More)
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