Developmental plasticity of limb bone microstructural organization in Apateon: histological evidence of paedomorphic conditions in branchiosaurs
2010 (English)In: Evolution & Development, ISSN 1520-541X, E-ISSN 1525-142X, Vol. 12, no 3, 315-328 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
P>Apateon, a key genus among Branchiosauridae from the Carboniferous-Permian of Europe, is often considered closely related to salamanders on the basis of developmental similarities, anatomical features, and life history. The current work deals with recognition of heterochronies among three "time-averaged populations" of Apateon based on inference from histological features already studied in extant urodeles. Our study is performed on the long bones of 22 specimens of Apateon pedestris and Apateon caducus. Histological observations show that diaphyseal and epiphyseal ossification patterns of Apateon are similar to those of urodeles. From skeletochronological analysis, the identification of the age of sexual maturity allows us to discriminate juveniles from adults and to confirm the previous hypothesis of a paedomorphic condition based on anatomical data among these species. The current study also suggests a paedomorphic condition of each "population" at the histological level. This heterochrony may have been linked to peculiar ecological conditions such as hypoxic and fresh water environment. Functional reasons may also be invoked to explain differences of ossification between fore- and hindlimbs of the "populations" from Odernheim and Niederkirchen because paleoecological conditions are very different from one locality to another. This study illustrates the role that the acquisition of heterochronic features plays at the microevolutionary scale.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 12, no 3, 315-328 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-137169DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-142X.2010.00417.xISI: 000277525100010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-137169DiVA: diva2:378525