Temnospondyl Paleoenvironmental Adaptations: Evidence from Bone Histology

Sanchez, S., Germain, D., De Ricqles, A., Abourachid, A., Goussard, F. and Tafforeau, P. 2010. Limb-bone histology of temnospondyls: implications for understanding the diversification of palaeoecologies and patterns of locomotion of Permo-Triassic tetrapods. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, early online. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02081.x

Abstract - The locomotion of early tetrapods has long been a subject of great interest in the evolutionary history of vertebrates. However, we still do not have a precise understanding of the evolutionary radiation of their locomotory strategies. We present here the first palaeohistological study based on theoretical biomechanical considerations among a highly diversified group of early tetrapods, the temnospondyls. Based on the quantification of microanatomical and histological parameters in the humerus and femur of nine genera, this multivariate analysis provides new insights concerning the adaptations of temnospondyls to their palaeoenvironments during the Early Permian, and clearly after the Permo-Triassic crisis. This study therefore presents a methodology that, if based on a bigger sample, could contribute towards a characterization of the behaviour of species during great evolutionary events.

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