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Ventastega curonica and the origin of tetrapod morphology
The gap in our understanding of the evolutionary transition from fish to tetrapod is beginning to close thanks to the discovery of new intermediate forms such as Tiktaalik roseae. Here we narrowit further by presenting the skull, exceptionally preserved braincase, shoulder girdle and partial pelvis of Ventastega curonica from the Late Devonian of Latvia, a transitional intermediate form between the ‘elpistostegids’ Panderichthys and Tiktaalik and the Devonian tetrapods (limbed vertebrates) Acanthostega and Ichthyostega. Ventastega is the most primitive Devonian tetrapod represented by extensive remains, and casts light on a part of the phylogeny otherwise only represented by fragmentary taxa: it illuminates the origin of principal tetrapod structures and the extent of morphological diversity among the transitional forms.
Reconstructions of Ventastega. a, Whole-body reconstruction showing known skeletal elements on a body outline based on Acanthostega (original Acanthostega body reconstruction by M. I. Coates). Scale bar, 10 cm. b, c, Skull reconstruction in lateral and dorsal views, based on material presented here and described previously. d, Reconstructed association of skull and shoulder girdle in lateral view. e, Shoulder girdle in anterior view.
This is a nice service, but in fairness to the authors when using their images, abstracts, etc a full citation of the appropriate paper it was published in would be in order. I don't see any citation here, for example; at least no clear one.
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