Variation in the trunk musculature of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona)


  • Ronald A. Nussbaum,

    1. Museum of Zoology and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The University of Michigan. Ann Arbor. Michigan 48109. U.S.A.
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  • Bruce G. Naylor

    1. Laboratory for Vertebrate Paleontology. Department of Geology and Zoology. The University of Alberta. Edmonton. Alberta T6G 2E9. Canada
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Variation in the trunk musculature of 28 species of caecilians. representing 24 of the 33 genera and all five families. is summarized. All forms examined have the same muscles in similar positions. Existing variation largely conforms to the current classification of the group. and some variation may be attributable to different modes of locomotion. such as burrowing versus swimming. Caecilian trunk musculature is more similar to that of salamanders than to that of frogs. but the similarity is probably syrnplesiomorphous. Trunk musculature so far has provided no clues to lissamphibian relationships.