Finding the frame shift: digit loss, developmental variability, and the origin of the avian hand.

@article{Bever2011FindingTF,
  title={Finding the frame shift: digit loss, developmental variability, and the origin of the avian hand.},
  author={Gabe S. Bever and Jacques A. Gauthier and G{\"u}nter P. Wagner},
  journal={Evolution & development},
  year={2011},
  volume={13 3},
  pages={269-79}
}
The origin of the tridactyl hand of crown birds from the pentadactyl hand of those early theropod dinosaurs lying along the avian stem has become a classic, but at times seemingly intractable, historical problem. The point in question is whether the fingers of crown birds represent digits 1-3 as predicted by generalized trends in the fossil record; or digits 2-4, as evidenced by the topology of the embryonic mesenchymal condensations from which the digits develop. The frame shift hypothesis… CONTINUE READING
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