Evolution: Back to heavy bones in salty seas

  title={Evolution: Back to heavy bones in salty seas},
  author={Alexandra Houssaye},
  journal={Current Biology},
  • A. Houssaye
  • Published 1 January 2022
  • Environmental Science, Biology
  • Current Biology


Transition of Eocene Whales from Land to Sea: Evidence from Bone Microstructure
This study highlights the strong need for homologous sections in comparative microanatomical studies, and the importance of combining information from several bones of the same taxon for improved functional interpretation.
Gradual adaptation of bone structure to aquatic lifestyle in extinct sloths from Peru
The bones of terrestrial pilosans (sloths and anteaters) are much more compact than the mean mammalian condition, which suggests that the osteosclerosis of Thalassocnus may represent an exaptation, and the most detailed data about the gradual acquisition of aquatic adaptations among tetrapods is assessed.
Evolutionary innovation and ecology in marine tetrapods from the Triassic to the Anthropocene
The literature on marine vertebrate groups over time is reviewed and the innovations that facilitated the evolution of these marine forms, the environmental conditions that selected for such convergence of form, and the threats they face from future environment change are described.
Sink or swim? Bone density as a mechanism for buoyancy control in early cetaceans
Analysis of the microstructural features of bone in early and late archaic cetaceans, and in a comparative sample of modern terrestrial, semiaquatic, and aquatic mammals, shows that high bone density is an aquatic specialization that provides static buoyancy control (ballast) for animals living in shallow water, while low bonedensity is associated with dynamic buoyancy Control for animalsliving in deep water.
Generalized Osteosclerotic Condition in the Skeleton of Nanophoca vitulinoides, a Dwarf Seal from the Miocene of Belgium
The results suggest that, despite the extreme compactness of long bones of N. vitulinoides and the small size of this taxon, the growth rate of the cortex, and that of the bones in general, did not differ strongly from that of other, larger phocids.
A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale.
Transitions from Drag-based to Lift-based Propulsion in Mammalian Swimming
  • F. Fish
  • Environmental Science, Biology
  • 1996
Examination of modern analogs to transitional swimming stages suggests that only slight modification to the neuromotor pattern used for terrestrial locomotion is required to allow for a change to lift-based propulsion.
Microanatomical and Histological Features in the Long Bones of Mosasaurine Mosasaurs (Reptilia, Squamata) – Implications for Aquatic Adaptation and Growth Rates
The more complete image of the various microanatomical trends observed in mosasaurine skeletal elements supports the evolutionary convergence between this lineage of secondarily aquatically adapted squamates and cetaceans in the ecological transition from a coastal to a pelagic lifestyle.
Evolution of humeral microanatomy and lifestyle in amniotes, and some comments on palaeobiological inferences
A study on the most exhaustive taxonomic sample of amniotes of any quantitative work on this topic demonstrates a strong relationship between lifestyle (aquatic, amphibious or terrestrial) and humeral microanatomy, and proposes an alternative method of palaeobiological inference for hypothetical ancestors.