Patterns of carpal development among anuran amphibians

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2001
Authors:M. Fabrezi, Barg M.
Journal:Journal of Morphology
Date Published:September

The unity and diversity of developmental processes in the vertebrate limb have singular importance in the interpretation of evolutionary hypotheses of tetrapod diversification. In anurans, the intraordinal diversity of forelimbs seems to be related to the fusion of distal carpals, whereas proximal carpals are invariable. However, there are different ontogenetic pathways involved in the differentiation of proximal carpals. This study presents a comparative analysis of early developmental features in one archeobatrachian and 23 neobatrachian species representing five families and explores the variability in the differentiation of carpal cartilages. We found new evidence supporting the presence of an embryonic intermedium that incorporates with the ulnare. Difference between the pipid Xenopus and the neobatrachians is interpreted as a change in the rate of differentiation of Distal Carpal 5 that does not affect the developmental pattern of digits. The developmental variability exhibited by the intermedium, radiale, and Element Y is combined in patterns that converge on the same adult carpal morphology among neobatrachians; these patterns appear to contain potentially useful phylogenetic information.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith