A tetrapod fauna from within the Devonian Antarctic Circle

  title={A tetrapod fauna from within the Devonian Antarctic Circle},
  author={Robert W. Gess and Per Erik Ahlberg},
  pages={1120 - 1124}
Out of Antarctica When we think of Devonian tetrapods, the ancestors of all modern vertebrates, we tend to picture amphibian-like creatures emerging from the water into a wet tropical forest or swamp. Indeed, all previously described specimens of this group have been recovered from the tropics. Gess and Ahlberg now describe two fossil tetrapods from Devonian Antarctica. Thus, the distribution of tetrapods may have been global, which encourages us to rethink the environments in which this… 

Morphology of the earliest reconstructable tetrapod Parmastega aelidae

Three-dimensionally preserved fossils of Parmastega aelidae, a newly described tetrapod from the earliest Famennian (Late Devonian) of Russia, provide detailed insights into the morphology and palaeobiology of the earliest tetrapods.


A formerly unknown fossil-bearing locality in the lower part of the Witpoort Formation (Witteberg Group, Cape Supergroup) is described from the Eastern Cape (South Africa). Uniquely for these

New insights into the origins and radiation of the mid-Palaeozoic Gondwanan stem tetrapods

ABSTRACT The earliest tetrapodomorph fishes appear in Chinese deposits of Early Devonian age, and by the Middle Devonian they were widespread globally. Evidence for the earliest digitated tetrapods

Follow the footprints and mind the gaps: a new look at the origin of tetrapods

  • P. Ahlberg
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • 2018
ABSTRACT The hypothesis that tetrapods evolved from elpistostegids during the Frasnian, in a predominantly aquatic context, has been challenged by the discovery of Middle Devonian tetrapod trackways

Estuarine fish and tetrapod evolution: insights from a Late Devonian (Famennian) Gondwanan estuarine lake and a southern African Holocene equivalent

  • R. GessA. Whitfield
  • Environmental Science
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 2020
Correlation of tetrapods (and elpistostegids) with fish nursery areas in the Late Devonian lends strong support to this hypothesis, suggesting that adaptations permitting improved access to the abundant juvenile fish within the littoral zone of estuarine lakes and continental water bodies may have been pivotal in the evolution of Tetrapods.

Coombs Hill: A Late Devonian fossil locality in the Witpoort Formation (Witteberg Group, South Africa)

FUNDING: DSI/NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences, DSI/NRF African Origins Platform, National Research Foundation (South Africa), the Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST), the Millennium

Sarcopterygian Fishes, the “Lobe-Fins”

This chapter will introduce you to groups now known exclusively from fossils such as “dagger-toothed” onychodonts and porolepiforms named so for the special pores in their scales.

A high latitude Devonian lungfish, from the Famennian of South Africa

The new taxon is significant as only the second Devonian lungfish described from the African continent, and for hailing from the high-latitude (polar) Waterloo Farm environment situated close to 70° south during the Famennian.



A lamprey from the Devonian period of South Africa

A marine/estuarine fossil lamprey from the Famennian (Late Devonian) of South Africa is reported, the identity of which is established easily because many of the key specializations of modern forms are already in place, evidence that agnathans close to modern lampreys had evolved before the end of the Devonian period.

A Devonian tetrapod-like fish reveals substantial parallelism in stem tetrapod evolution

A large, lobe-finned fish from the Late Devonian of China disrupts previously accepted stem-tetrapod phylogeny and reveals parallel evolution within the lineage, suggesting that ecological diversity and biogeographical provinciality in the tetrapod stem group have been underestimated.

High-latitude Chondrichthyans from the Late Devonian (Famennian) Witpoort formation of South Africa

Abstract New material from the Late Devonian Witpoort Formation (Witteberg Group, Cape Supergroup) of Waterloo Farm (Grahamstown, South Africa) includes teeth, spines, and rare endoskeletal remains

A Devonian Tetrapod from North America

An early tetrapod fossil from the Upper Devonian of Pennsylvania (Catskill Formation) extends the temporal range of tetrapods in North America and suggests that they attained a virtually global

Gondwana from top to base in space and time

Tetrapod trackways from the early Middle Devonian period of Poland

Well-preserved and securely dated tetrapod tracks from Polish marine tidal flat sediments of early Middle Devonian (Eifelian stage) age are presented, forcing a radical reassessment of the timing, ecology and environmental setting of the fish–tetrapod transition, as well as the completeness of the body fossil record.

A primitive amphibian from the Late Devonian of New South Wales

The musculatures of rhipidistian and amphibian jaws are analysed and are shown to be functionally related to distinctive morphologies of the articulatory region in each group, Metaxygnathus being of amphibian type.

The postcranial skeleton of the Devonian tetrapod Tulerpeton curtum Lebedev

A cladistic analysis indicates that Tulerpeton is a reptiliomorph stem-group amniote and the earliest known crown-group tetrapod: Acanthostega and Ichthyostega are successively more derived plesion stem- group tetrapods and do not consititute a monophyletic ichthyostegalian radiation.

Ventastega curonica and the origin of tetrapod morphology

The skull, exceptionally preserved braincase, shoulder girdle and partial pelvis of Ventastega curonica are presented, a transitional intermediate form between the ‘elpistostegids’ Panderichthys and Tiktaalik and the Devonian tetrapods (limbed vertebrates) Acanthostega and Ichthyostega.