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Non-marine palaeoenvironment associated to the earliest tetrapod tracks
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Evolution and Developmental Biology.
Natl Res Inst, Polish Geol Inst, Rakowiecka 4 St, PL-00075 Warsaw, Poland..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Evolution and Developmental Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Evolution and Developmental Biology.
2018 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 8, article id 1074Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Opinions differ on whether the evolution of tetrapods (limbed vertebrates) from lobe-finned fishes was directly linked to terrestrialization. The earliest known tetrapod fossils, from the Middle Devonian (approximately 390 million years old) of Zachelmie Quarry in Poland, are trackways made by limbs with digits; they document a direct environmental association and thus have the potential to help answer this question. However, the tetrapod identity of the tracks has recently been challenged, despite their well-preserved morphology, on account of their great age and supposedly shallow marine (intertidal or lagoonal) depositional environment. Here we present a new palaeoenvironmental interpretation of the track-bearing interval from Zachelmie, showing that it represents a succession of ephemeral lakes with a restricted and non-marine biota, rather than a marginal marine environment as originally thought. This context suggests that the trackmaker was capable of terrestrial locomotion, consistent with the appendage morphology recorded by the footprints, and thus provides additional support for a tetrapod identification.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 8, article id 1074
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Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-343675DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-19220-5ISI: 000422739300037PubMedID: 29348562OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-343675DiVA, id: diva2:1187740
Available from: 2018-03-05 Created: 2018-03-05 Last updated: 2018-03-05Bibliographically approved

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Qvarnström, MartinAhlberg, Per E.Niedzwiedzki, Grzegorz

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