“Our current understanding of development and evolution of head and neck musculature in vertebrates is often based on studies in a few model organisms that might or might not be at relevant positions on a phylogenetic tree to highlight key changes from a primitive to a derived character. Lungfishes, like the Australian Lungfish, are at one such relevant position as their anatomy and ontogeny can help us to understand the changes that occurred during thewater to land transition. Methods, like diceCT, that allow us to analyze in detail the anatomy of species without destructive dissections are of increasing value as they not only to reduce the amount of specimens needed to investigate but also allow the 3D visualization of complex structures, which in turn enables us to make more precise predictions about functional changes due to differences of muscles attachments at different stages of development. Comparisons of developmental changes with differences observed during the evolution of vertebrate species will then allow us to identify highly conserved or less restricted mechanisms that play a role during the evolution of diverse species from fish to humans.”
–authors, Alice Clement & Janine Ziermann (@)
Read more about Australian lungfish at the Journal of Morphology and see more work like this on ResearchGate and at PLOS ONE!