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Could the earliest limbed animals walk?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Sven Friedemann.

The origin of limbed vertebrates (tetrapods) was one of the most important evolutionary events in Earth’s history. Vast changes to the skeletal system – including the development of limbs with digits and jointed struts in the spinal column – provided the means for our ‘fish’ ancestors to venture out of the water and dominate every continent on the planet. Over the last few decades, our knowledge of the skeletal anatomy of the earliest tetrapods has vastly increased; yet we still lack a true understanding of how evolutionary modifications of the skeletal system at the ‘fish-tetrapod’ transition culiminated in the ability to walk on land. Here I detail a study in which I investigate locomotion potential in the iconic Devonian tetrapod Ichthyostega through an analysis of 3D limb joint mobility.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Sciences Group series.

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