Chapter 16. Using Patterns of Fin and Limb Phylogeny to Test Developmental–Evolutionary Scenarios

  1. Gregory Bock Organizer and
  2. Jamie Goode
  1. Michael I. Coates1,
  2. Marcello Ruta1,2 and
  3. Peter J. Wagner1,3

Published Online: 11 JUN 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470319390.ch16

Tinkering: The Microevolution of Development: Novartis Foundation Symposium 284

Tinkering: The Microevolution of Development: Novartis Foundation Symposium 284

How to Cite

Coates, M. I., Ruta, M. and Wagner, P. J. (2006) Using Patterns of Fin and Limb Phylogeny to Test Developmental–Evolutionary Scenarios, in Tinkering: The Microevolution of Development: Novartis Foundation Symposium 284 (eds G. Bock and J. Goode), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470319390.ch16

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, The University of Chicago, Culver Hall, 1027 East. 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1RJ, UK

  3. 3

    Department of Geology, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL 60605, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 11 JUN 2007
  2. Published Print: 8 JUN 2006

Book Series:

  1. Novartis Foundation Symposia

Book Series Editors:

  1. Novartis Foundation

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470034293

Online ISBN: 9780470319390

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Keywords:

  • development;
  • fins;
  • fish;
  • homology;
  • limbs;
  • ontogeny;
  • phylogeny;
  • tetrapods;
  • tinkering;
  • radiation

Summary

Increasing fossil evidence surrounding the evolutionary origin of vertebrate limbs can be used to reconstruct the assembly of a limb ground-plan common to all tetrapods. The sequence of changes at the fin-to-limb transition can be compared to patterns of fin and limb ontogeny, and further comparisons can be made between phylogenetic changes at pectoral and pelvic levels. Such comparisons inform questions about the evolution of developmental autonomy (modularity). Limb evolution mostly concerns terminal additions and losses; from a developmental standpoint, these probably result either from minor adjustments to limb bud proportions or from the relative timing of gene expression or tissue growth. Evolutionary radiations of large clades are widely assumed to be marked by periods of rapid morphological diversification, raising further questions about the impact of restrictions imposed not only by ecology, but also by development and genetics. The early tetrapod data set is now large enough to allow initial tests of evolutionary inference to be conducted. New results are revealing novel patterns of evolutionary rate-change, encompassing the traditional notion of the fish-to-tetrapod transition and the root of the modern (crown-group) tetrapod radiation.