Studies on skeleton formation in reptiles. I. The postembryonic development of the skeleton in Cyrtodactylus pubisulcus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae)



The study of ossification during postembryonic development of the lizard Cyrtodactylus pubisulcus reveals consistent patterns in the skeleton of the body axis and of the limbs. The vertebral column shows a distinct antero-posterior gradient in ossification; the serial homology of sacral ribs and caudal transverse processes with dorsal ribs requires further scrutiny. The sequence of ossification of carpal and tarsal elements is constant, yet different from the pattern of chondrification as described in the literature. The homology of a separate ‘intermedium’ in the ossified lizard carpus requires further discussion. The development of the lizard astragalus is discussed in detail, as is the ossification of epiphyses in the limbs.