Evolution of vertebrate viviparity and specializations for fetal nutrition: A quantitative and qualitative analysis

  title={Evolution of vertebrate viviparity and specializations for fetal nutrition: A quantitative and qualitative analysis},
  author={Daniel G. Blackburn},
  journal={Journal of Morphology},
Phylogenetic analyses indicate that viviparity (live‐bearing reproduction) has originated independently in more than 150 vertebrate lineages, including a minimum of 115 clades of extant squamate reptiles. Other evolutionary origins of viviparity include 13 origins among bony fishes, nine among chondrichthyans, eight in amphibians, one in Paleozoic placoderms, six among extinct reptiles, and one in mammals. The origins of viviparity range geologically from the mid‐Paleozoic through the Mesozoic… 

Evolution of viviparous reproduction in Paleozoic and Mesozoic reptiles.

P paleontological evidence indicates that extinct viviparous reptiles had internal fertilization, amniotic fetal membranes, and placentas that sustained developing embryos via provision of respiratory gases, water, calcium, and possibly organic nutrients.

Placental specializations in lecithotrophic viviparous squamate reptiles.

  • J. R. Stewart
  • Biology
    Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution
  • 2015
Comparative studies of squamate reproductive biology reveal that both uterine and embryonic structural modifications are commonly associated with viviparity, suggesting relatively rapid evolution of placental specializations.

Evolution of placentotrophy: using viviparous sharks as a model to understand vertebrate placental evolution

Sharks are recommended as an outstanding model system to investigate the evolution of placentas and mechanisms for fetal nutrition during pregnancy in vertebrates.

Genomic and transcriptomic investigations of the evolutionary transition from oviparity to viviparity

The transition from oviparity to viviparity requires numerous physiological, morphological, and immunological changes to the female reproductive tract, including eggshell reduction, delayed oviposition, placental development for supply of water and nutrition to the embryo by the mother, enhanced gas exchange, and suppression of maternal immune rejection of the embryo.

Conflict and the evolution of viviparity in vertebrates

A broad panorama of the gradual evolution of viviparity is developed that includes the different environmental and co-adaptive selective pressures that have been suggested to be at the root of the different instances of v Viviparity and of the diverse maternal–foetal adaptations for nutrient transfer seen amongst vertebrates.

Understanding the evolution of viviparity using intraspecific variation in reproductive mode and transitional forms of pregnancy

It is argued that these taxa represent an excellent prospect for understanding the major evolutionary shift between egg‐laying and live birth, which is a fundamental innovation in the history of animals.

Matrotrophy and placentation in invertebrates: a new paradigm

It is reported that regardless of the degree of expression, matrotrophy is established or inferred in at least 21 of 34 animal phyla, significantly exceeding previous accounts and changing the old paradigm that these phenomena are infrequent among invertebrates.

Three in one: evolution of viviparity, coenocytic placenta and polyembryony in cyclostome bryozoans

It is speculated that the acquisition of a highly advanced placenta providing massive nourishment might support the evolution of polyembryony in cyclostomes, the only known example of a coenocytic placental analogue of this type in animals.

Emergence of an evolutionary innovation: Gene expression differences associated with the transition between oviparity and viviparity

Our understanding of the evolution of complex biological traits is greatly advanced by examining taxa with intermediate phenotypes. The transition from oviparity (egg‐laying) to viviparity

Change of lecithotrophic to matrotrophic nutrition during gestation in the viviparous teleost Xenotoca eiseni (Goodeidae)

The morphology displayed in this study demonstrated the extended simultaneity of leCithotrophy and matrotrophy during gestation with the progressive reduction of lecithot rophy and increase of matrot rophy.



Convergent Evolution of Viviparity, Matrotrophy, and Specializations for Fetal Nutrition in Reptiles and Other Vertebrates

Quantitative analyses based upon the superimposition of phylogenetic and reproductive data have revealed that viviparity has originated on at least 132 independent occasions among vertebrates, with

Evolution of placentation among squamate reptiles: recent research and future directions.

  • J. R. StewartM. Thompson
  • Biology
    Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology
  • 2000

Viviparity: The Maternal-Fetal Relationship in Fishes

The maternal-fetal trophic relationships in each of the major groups of fishes are systematically reviewed and Pertinent anatomical, histological, ultrastructural, developmental, physiological, and biochemical studies are considered.

Natural History of Reptilian Development: Constraints on the Evolution of Viviparity

Observed observations are consistent with both a saltation model that posits that the characteristic features of viviparity arise suddenly and simultaneously, and a gradualist model that Posits incremental evolution from one reproductive mode to the other.

Saltationist and punctuated equilibrium models for the evolution of viviparity and placentation.

Empirical data and predictive tests on lizards and snakes indicate that placentae and a degree of placentotrophy have evolved repeatedly as necessary correlates of viviparity, not as subsequent modifications.

Superfoetative viviparity in a Carboniferous chondrichthyan and reproduction in early gnathostomes

The fossilized remains of two specimens of Harpagofututor volsellorhinus from the Upper Mississippian of Montana now provide the first direct evidence of matrotrophic live birth in a Palaeozoic chondrichthyan and of superfoetation in an extinct fish.

A review of the evolution of viviparity in lizards: structure, function and physiology of the placenta

Reliance on provision of substantial organic nutrient is correlated with the regional specialisation of the chorioallantoic placenta to form a placentome for nutrient uptake, particularly lipids, and the further development of the gas exchange capabilities of the other parts of the Chorioallantois.

Reproductive Specializations in a Viviparous African Skink: Implications for Evolution and Biological Conservation

Discovery of the specializations of T. ivensi illustrates why the study of a few convenient “animal models” is no substitute for broad-based studies of biological diversity as directed by phylogenetic considerations and underscores the value of museum collections to studies of Biological diversity.

Evolutionary Origins of Viviparity in the Reptilia. I. Sauria

Reproductive mode data were extracted piecemeal from the literature and superimposed over currently accepted phylogenies to permit estimation of the minimum frequencies with which viviparity (live-bearing) has evolved in lizards, as well as to facilitate analysis of hypotheses that genetic sex-determination of the male-heterogametic type as weil as a tendency towards eggention preadapt a lineage for v Viviparity.

Evolution of placental specializations in viviparous African and South American lizards.

This paper draws upon ongoing studies of South American and African lizards to consider the value of combining phylogenetic and reproductive evidence in the construction of evolutionary interpretations, and shows how morphological and phylogenetic evidence can be combined to yield robust evolutionary conclusions that avoid the pitfalls of circular reasoning.