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How Vertebrates Left the Water$
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Michel Laurin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520266476

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520266476.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 November 2019

Conquest of Land

Conquest of Land

Data from Extant Vertebrates

(p.45) CHAPTER TWO Conquest of Land
How Vertebrates Left the Water

Michel Laurin

University of California Press

This chapter describes the extant taxa most relevant to studies about the conquest of land by vertebrates: the coelacanth and the dipnoans (lungfishes), the closest relatives of tetrapods. It begins by discussing the acquisition by an aquatic taxon of an amphibious lifestyle, as shown by Periophthalmus, a teleost that lives on the shores of tropical rivers and lakes and feeds on prey generally caught on land. The chapter then examines the coelacanth, which is considered as a living fossil, an expression applied to extant taxa that resemble old lineages, especially if they were discovered after their extinct relatives. The dipnoans, the closest extant relatives of tetrapods, are also discussed. Dipnoans possess functional lungs and gills, and can consequently breathe both air and water.

Keywords:   extant taxa, coelacanth, dipnoans, lungfishes, tetrapods, Periophthalmus

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