Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nature. 2006 Nov 9;444(7116):199-202. Epub 2006 Oct 18.

An exceptional Devonian fish from Australia sheds light on tetrapod origins.

Author information

  • 1Museum Victoria, P O Box 666, Melbourne, Australia 3001. jlong@museum.vic.gov.au

Abstract

The transition from fishes to tetrapods was one of the most dramatic events in the evolution of vertebrates, but many pivotal fossils are incomplete, resulting in gaps in the data that are used for phylogenetic reconstruction. Here we present new observations from the most complete, acid-prepared Devonian tetrapodomorph fish yet discovered, Gogonasus, which was previously placed just crownward of Kenichthys and rhizodontids, the most primitive taxa on the tetrapod lineage. Unexpectedly, Gogonasus shows a mosaic of plesiomorphic and derived tetrapod-like features. Whereas the braincase and dermal cranial skeleton exhibit generalized morphologies with respect to Eusthenopteron or Panderichthys, taxa that are traditionally considered to be phyletically close to tetrapods, the presence of a deeply invaginated, wide spiracle, advanced internal spiracular architecture and near-horizontal hyomandibula are specialized features that are absent from Eusthenopteron. Furthermore, the pectoral fin skeleton of Gogonasus shares several features with that of Tiktaalik, the most tetrapod-like fish. A new phylogenetic analysis places Gogonasus crownward of Eusthenopteron as the sister taxon to the Elpistostegalia. Aspects of the basic tetrapod limb skeleton and middle ear architecture can now be traced further back within the tetrapodomorph radiation.

PMID:
17051154
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk