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Sarcopterygians: From Lobe-Finned Fishes to the Tetrapod Stem Group
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Evolution and Developmental Biology.
2016 (English)In: Evolution of the Vertebrate Ear: Evidence from the Fossil Record / [ed] Jennifer A. Clack, Richard R. Fay, Arthur N. Popper, Springer Publishing Company, 2016, 51-70 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The sarcopterygians or lobe-finned fishes is the group that gave rise to tetrapods, and they were the dominant bony fishes of the Devonian period. Their otic regions were constructed similarly to those of both the actinopterygians and chondrichthyans, their structure being the common inheritance of all jawed vertebrates. One distinguishing feature of the primitive sarcopterygian braincase was that the division between the anterior ethmosphenoid and posterior otoccipital section sof the braincase was marked by a flexible hinge joint, which is seen today in the modern coelacanth, Latimeria. The hyomandibular was long and projected ventrally with an opercular process that contacted the opercular bone and with the distal end associated indirectly with the jaw joint. It was a key component of the buccal pumping mechanism for breathing and feeding. The braincases of dipnoans (lungfishes) were the most highly modified of sarcopterygian braincases with consolidated fore and aft portions and reduction or loss of the hyomandibula. The utricle was enlarged in several fossil dipnoans, although the reason for this is not clear. The braincases of tetrapodomorph sarcopterygians differed little from the primitive condition in the group. The main modifications were to the more crownward and tetrapod-like forms from the Late Devonian. In these fishes, the hyomandibula was reduced in length, its contact with the opercular bone lost and, ultimately, the opercular bone itself disappeared. The spiracular notch and associated cleft increased in width and volume respectively, possibly resulting in increased air-breathing capacity and reduced use of the gill system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Publishing Company, 2016. 51-70 p.
Springer Handbook of Auditory Research, ISSN 0947-2657 ; 59
Keyword [en]
inner ear, evolution, fossil, Sarcopterygii
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Evolutionary Organismal Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-312162DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-46661-3ISBN: 978-3-319-46659-0ISBN: 978-3-319-46661-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-312162DiVA: diva2:1062406
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
Available from: 2017-01-05 Created: 2017-01-05 Last updated: 2017-01-05

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