Late Devonian tetrapod remains from Red Hill, Pennsylvania, USA: how much diversity?
Article first published online: 19 MAY 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Special Issue: Forty Years of Early Vertebrates Papers from the 11th International Symposium on Early and Lower Vertebrates
Volume 90, Issue Supplement s1, pages 306–317, May 2009
How to Cite
Daeschler, E. B., Clack, J. A. and Shubin, N. H. (2009), Late Devonian tetrapod remains from Red Hill, Pennsylvania, USA: how much diversity?. Acta Zoologica, 90: 306–317. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-6395.2008.00361.x
- Issue published online: 19 MAY 2009
- Article first published online: 19 MAY 2009
- Accepted for publication: 8 July 2008
- Catskill Formation;
The remains of Late Devonian tetrapods from the Red Hill locality in Pennsylvania help to elucidate the early stages of tetrapod evolution. Red Hill is a particularly informative site that preserves a diverse fauna and flora within a depositional setting suggesting penecontemporaneous deposition of locally derived material. Here, for the first time, we report on the full suite of early tetrapod remains from Red Hill and consider the implications for tetrapod diversity within the Red Hill ecosystem. Previously described material is reviewed and considered in relation to newly reported specimens. New material described includes isolated skull elements (two jugals, a postorbital, a lacrimal and a coronoid) and postcranial elements (a femur and a gastral scale). The characteristics of many of the Red Hill tetrapod specimens conform to the morphological expectations of Late Devonian forms. Several elements, however, illustrate more derived characteristics and strongly suggest the presence of the oldest known whatcheeriid-like tetrapod. This study demonstrates the difficulty in making taxonomic associations with isolated remains, even when found in close proximity to one another. Exploration of the characteristics of each element, however, demonstrates the presence of at least three early tetrapod taxa at the Red Hill site.