ENP Newswire -
Release date- 21072014 - Paleontologists have provided a new cranial reconstruction of a long-extinct limbed vertebrate (tetrapod) from previously unrecognised specimens found in coal deposits from the
The team of academics reviewed the cranial structural features of the Late Carboniferous Gephyrostegus bohemicus - a small animal of generally lizard-like build that lived 308 million years ago.
This early tetrapod could be the earliest example of a reptile and explain the origin of amniotes, all vertebrates that belong to reptiles, birds and mammals.
Their aim was to provide an analysis of early tetrapod relationships incorporating their new observations of Gephyrostegus. Their analysis used skeletal traits across a sample of early tetrapod groups to identify the likely affinities of Gephyrostegus.
Their results are detailed in the
He explained: 'Gephyrostegus has always been an elusive beast. Several researchers have long considered the possibility that the superficially reptile-like features of this animal might tell us something about amniote ancestry. But Gephyrostegus also shows some much generalised skeletal features that make the issue of its origin even more problematic. We conducted a new study that brings together data from a large number of early tetrapods. The study shows that Gephyrostegus is closely related to another group of Eurasiatic and North American tetrapods called seymouriamorphs, also involved in debates about amniote ancestry. We found some interesting new cranial features in Gephyrostegus that helped us establish this link.
'Staring at specimens for a long time down a microscope and trying to make sense of their anatomy may be frustrating and tiring at times, but always immensely rewarding.'
Most Popular Stories
- Doctor Who Christmas Episode Begins Production
- HCL America Adding 1,200 IT Jobs
- Medical Mfg. Jobs Coming to Dayton
- Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury on Previously Unreleased Queen Cut
- Longtime Unemployed to Get Help in Las Vegas
- SpaceX Aims for Predawn Launch on Saturday
- Women Key to Democratic Party: Clinton
- U.S. Chamber Caught Up in Tax Inversion Question
- Feds Won't Say How Many Border Crossers Jailed
- Christie Didn't Order Bridge Shut Down, Feds Say