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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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Vertebrate Limb Evolution

Vertebrate Limb Evolution

(p.73) CHAPTER FOUR Vertebrate Limb Evolution
How Vertebrates Left the Water

Michel Laurin

University of California Press

To understand the colonization of land by vertebrates, this chapter studies the origin and evolution of limbs, and especially of their skeleton, first examining the vertebrate skeleton, and then discussing the study of the origin of digits using Hox gene expression patterns in limb or fin buds. It also examines the study of sarcopterygian fins and the origin of digits using molecular developmental data. The gills of Acanthostega and the original function of the tetrapod limb are also examined. Finally, the chapter discusses the use of bone microanatomy to infer the lifestyle of early stegocephalians.

Keywords:   land vertebrates, limbs, vertebrate skeleton, Hox gene expression, fins, digits, gills, Acanthosthega, bone microanatomy, stegocephalians

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