Two Perspectives on the Evolution of the Tetrapod Limb

  title={Two Perspectives on the Evolution of the Tetrapod Limb},
  author={James L. Edwards},
  journal={Integrative and Comparative Biology},
  • J. Edwards
  • Published 1 February 1989
  • Biology
  • Integrative and Comparative Biology
Synopsis. The evolution of the tetrapod limb is examined from two perspectives: struc? tural and functional. Rosen et al. (1981) argued that lungfishes are the sister group of tetrapods, with limb characteristics comprising an important subset of their evidence. A re-analysis of the limb characters advocated by Rosen et al. does not support their contention, but instead suggests that rhipidistian fishes of the family Osteolepidae are the closest relatives of the tetrapods. In order to… 

Historical perspectives on the evolution of tetrapodomorph movement.

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Comparative Morphology of Locomotion in Vertebrates

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Postcranial myology of the California newt, Taricha torosa.

Dissection and description of the muscles of the forelimb, trunk, and hindlimb of the California newt, Taricha torosa, were undertaken to provide baseline data on the locomotor structures in this species.

The Evolution of Paired Fins and the Origin of Tetrapod Limbs

The analysis of limb origins touches on many central issues of evolutionary morphology and entails a synthesis of genetic, developmental, and functional approaches.


It is concluded that the idea of a design conflict between aquatic and terrestrial locomotion, mediated through antagonistic effects of body elongation, does not apply to the model system.


It is concluded that the idea of a design conflict between aquatic and terrestrial locomotion, mediated through antagonistic effects of body elongation, does not apply to the model system.



Origin of the Tetrapod Limb.

The paired fins of fishes were first used as props and supports for resting on the bottom; these were later used in a clumsy, walking manner, and this behavior perforce began first in the water,

The Evolution of Terrestrial Locomotion

Nearly all workers in this field have agreed that the tetrapod limb evolved as a locomotor organ which allowed movement away from the pond or swamp habitat of the rhipidistians and onto the land.

Relationships of lungfishes

It is concluded that, among Recent taxa, lungfishes and tetrapods are sistergroups, with coelacanths as the plesiomorphic sister‐group to that combined group, and Rhipidistians are a paraphyletic group distributed amongst the recent taxa.

Paedomorphosis and the evolution of the Dipnoi

The data suggest that paedomorphosis played a pervasive role in the evolution of lungfishes and give further evidence for the evolutionary importance of heterochrony.

A morphogenetic approach to the origin and basic organization of the tetrapod limb

Two complementary approaches underlie the study of evolutionary morphology—one a direct result of the Darwinian revolution, the other with roots that can be traced back to pre-Darwinian times. The

The mechanics of amphibian locomotion.

An analysis of the mechanics of normal amphibian walking is carried out and several features of Gray9s (1944) analysis ofThe mechanics of the tetrapod skeleton are confirmed.

Locomotion of the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae in its natural environment

The authors' observations show L. chalumnae to be a nocturnal piscivorous drift-hunter, moving very slowly in up- or downwelling currents, while paired fins stabilize and correct the drift motion, andaired and unpaired lobed fins are able to generate thrust.

The Evolution of Concepts Related to the Origin of the Amphibia

Although the rhipidistian ancestry of the amphibians is now firmly established, there has been considerable difference of opinion as to who originally suggested this relationship. A literature search

Are lungfishes the sister group of tetrapods

Evidence for the orthodox view of rhipidistian-tetrapod relationships is not as strong as generally believed and Tetrapod-fish relationships need to be re-examined by means of a properly conducted cladistic analysis.