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Nature ; 623(7987): 550-554, 2023 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37914937


The origin of vertebrate paired appendages is one of the most investigated and debated examples of evolutionary novelty1-7. Paired appendages are widely considered as key innovations that enabled new opportunities for controlled swimming and gill ventilation and were prerequisites for the eventual transition from water to land. The past 150 years of debate8-10 has been shaped by two contentious theories4,5: the ventrolateral fin-fold hypothesis9,10 and the archipterygium hypothesis8. The latter proposes that fins and girdles evolved from an ancestral gill arch. Although studies in animal development have revived interest in this idea11-13, it is apparently unsupported by fossil evidence. Here we present palaeontological support for a pharyngeal basis for the vertebrate shoulder girdle. We use computed tomography scanning to reveal details of the braincase of Kolymaspis sibirica14, an Early Devonian placoderm fish from Siberia, that suggests a pharyngeal component of the shoulder. We combine these findings with refreshed comparative anatomy of placoderms and jawless outgroups to place the origin of the shoulder girdle on the sixth branchial arch. These findings provide a novel framework for understanding the origin of the pectoral girdle. Our evidence clarifies the location of the presumptive head-trunk interface in jawless fishes and explains the constraint on branchial arch number in gnathostomes15. The results revive a key aspect of the archipterygium hypothesis and help reconcile it with the ventrolateral fin-fold model.

Nadadeiras de Animais , Evolução Biológica , Peixes , Fósseis , Vertebrados , Animais , Nadadeiras de Animais/anatomia & histologia , Peixes/anatomia & histologia , Paleontologia , Tomografia Computadorizada por Raios X , Vertebrados/anatomia & histologia , Sibéria
Nat Ecol Evol ; 4(11): 1477-1484, 2020 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32895518


Endochondral bone is the main internal skeletal tissue of nearly all osteichthyans-the group comprising more than 60,000 living species of bony fishes and tetrapods. Chondrichthyans (sharks and their kin) are the living sister group of osteichthyans and have primarily cartilaginous endoskeletons, long considered the ancestral condition for all jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes). The absence of bone in modern jawless fishes and the absence of endochondral ossification in early fossil gnathostomes appear to lend support to this conclusion. Here we report the discovery of extensive endochondral bone in Minjinia turgenensis, a new genus and species of 'placoderm'-like fish from the Early Devonian (Pragian) of western Mongolia described using X-ray computed microtomography. The fossil consists of a partial skull roof and braincase with anatomical details providing strong evidence of placement in the gnathostome stem group. However, its endochondral space is filled with an extensive network of fine trabeculae resembling the endochondral bone of osteichthyans. Phylogenetic analyses place this new taxon as a proximate sister group of the gnathostome crown. These results provide direct support for theories of generalized bone loss in chondrichthyans. Furthermore, they revive theories of a phylogenetically deeper origin of endochondral bone and its absence in chondrichthyans as a secondary condition.

Fósseis , Arcada Osseodentária , Animais , Arcada Osseodentária/anatomia & histologia , Mongólia , Filogenia , Crânio/anatomia & histologia , Crânio/diagnóstico por imagem
Palaeontology ; 61(3): 369-389, 2018 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29937580


Stem-group gnathostomes reveal the sequence of character acquisition in the origin of modern jawed vertebrates. The petalichthyids are placoderm-grade stem-group gnathostomes known from both isolated skeletal material and rarer articulated specimens of one genus. They are of particular interest because of anatomical resemblances with osteostracans, the jawless sister group of jawed vertebrates. Because of this, they have become central to debates on the relationships of placoderms and the primitive cranial architecture of gnathostomes. However, among petalichthyids, only the braincase of Macropetalichthys has been studied in detail, and the diversity of neurocranial morphology in this group remains poorly documented. Using X-ray computed microtomography, we investigated the endocranial morphology of Shearsbyaspis oepiki Young, a three-dimensionally preserved petalichthyid from the Early Devonian of Taemas-Wee Jasper, Australia. We generated virtual reconstructions of the external endocranial surfaces, orbital walls and cranial endocavity, including canals for major nerves and blood vessels. The neurocranium of Shearsbyaspis resembles that of Macropetalichthys, particularly in the morphology of the brain cavity, nerves and blood vessels. Many characters, including the morphology of the pituitary vein canal and the course of the trigeminal nerve, recall the morphology of osteostracans. Additionally, the presence of a parasphenoid in Shearsbyaspis (previously not known with confidence outside of arthrodires and osteichthyans) raises some questions about current proposals of placoderm paraphyly. Our detailed description of this specimen adds to the known morphological diversity of petalichthyids, and invites critical reappraisal of the phylogenetic relationships of placoderms.