Microanatomy of the radius and lifestyle in amniotes (Vertebrata, Tetrapoda)

Authors

  • Damien Germain,

    Corresponding author
      Damien Germain & Michel Laurin, FRE 2696, CNRS, Université de Paris 7, Denis Diderot, 2, place Jussieu, case 7077, 75005 Paris, France. E-mail: dgermain@ccr.jussieu.frorlaurin@ccr.jussieu.fr
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  • Michel Laurin

    Corresponding author
      Damien Germain & Michel Laurin, FRE 2696, CNRS, Université de Paris 7, Denis Diderot, 2, place Jussieu, case 7077, 75005 Paris, France. E-mail: dgermain@ccr.jussieu.frorlaurin@ccr.jussieu.fr
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Damien Germain & Michel Laurin, FRE 2696, CNRS, Université de Paris 7, Denis Diderot, 2, place Jussieu, case 7077, 75005 Paris, France. E-mail: dgermain@ccr.jussieu.frorlaurin@ccr.jussieu.fr

Abstract

Radial cross-sections of 49 species of extant and two species of extinct amniotes of known lifestyle have been studied in order to assess the relationship between lifestyle (aquatic, amphibious or terrestrial) and bone microanatomy. Most compactness profile and body size parameters exhibit a phylogenetic signal; therefore, classical statistical tests should not be used. Permutational multiple linear regressions show an ecological signal in most compactness profile parameters and in the cross-section maximal diameter. A linear discriminant analysis is performed with these parameters to distinguish the various lifestyles. The discriminant function based on taxa of known lifestyle is used to infer the lifestyle of three extinct amniotes: the early nothosaur Pachypleurosaurus (amphibious), the therapsid Lystrosaurus (amphibious) and the synapsid Ophiacodon (aquatic). These predictions are congruent with classical palaeoecological interpretations. This model may be very useful when attempting to infer the ancestral lifestyle of amniotes and other early limbed vertebrates.

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