Project 3480: R. Cloutier, A. M. Clement, M. S. Y. Lee, R. Noël, I. Béchard, V. Roy, J. A. Long. 2020. Elpistostege and the origin of the vertebrate hand. Nature. 579 (7800):549-554.
Specimen: † Elpistostege (MHNM/Paleontology:06-2067)
View: dorsal

Abstract

The evolution of fishes to tetrapods (four-limbed vertebrates) was one of the most
important transformations in vertebrate evolution. Hypotheses of tetrapod origins
rely heavily on the anatomy of a few tetrapod-like fish fossils from the Middle and
Late Devonian period (393–359 million years ago)1. These taxa—known as
elpistostegalians—include Panderichthys2, Elpistostege3,4 and Tiktaalik1,5, none of
which has yet revealed the complete skeletal anatomy of the pectoral fin. Here we
report a 1.57-metre-long articulated specimen of Elpistostege watsoni from the Upper
Devonian period of Canada, which represents—to our knowledge—the most complete
elpistostegalian yet found. High-energy computed tomography reveals that the
skeleton of the pectoral fin has four proximodistal rows of radials (two of which
include branched carpals) as well as two distal rows that are organized as digits and
putative digits. Despite this skeletal pattern (which represents the most tetrapod-like
arrangement of bones found in a pectoral fin to date), the fin retains lepidotrichia
(fin rays) distal to the radials. We suggest that the vertebrate hand arose primarily
from a skeletal pattern buried within the fairly typical aquatic pectoral fin of
elpistostegalians. Elpistostege is potentially the sister taxon of all other tetrapods,
and its appendages further blur the line between fish and land vertebrates.


Read the article »

Article DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2100-8

Project DOI: 10.7934/P3480, http://dx.doi.org/10.7934/P3480
This project containsMatrices
  • 1 Media
  • 1 Matrix
  • 42 Taxa
  • 9 Specimens
  • 202 Characters
Total size of project's media files: 431.72k

Download Project SDD File
Total scored cells: 5247
Total media associated with cells: 0
Total labels associated with cell media: 0
Characters
Total characters: 202
Total characters with associated media: 0
Total characters with media with labels: 0
Total character states: 436
Total character states with associated media: 0
Total character states with media with labels:0
Total unordered/ordered characters:185/17
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MorphoBank Project 3480

    Authors' Institutions

    • Flinders University

    • South Australian Museum

    • Université du Québec à Rimouski (University of Quebec at Rimouski)



    Members

    member name taxa specimens media media
    notes
    chars character
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    notes  media
    labels
    cell scorings
    (scored, NPA, "-")
    cell
    comms
        
    notes  medialabels
    rules
    Richard Cloutier
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 04/17/20
    42910202013005121
    (4906, 0, 215)
    0202000
    Alice Clement
    Full membership
    Last logged in 01/08/20
    0000000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    00000
    Mike Lee
    Full membership
    Last logged in 10/16/19
    0000000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    00000
    John Long
    Full membership
    Last logged in 12/17/19
    000000000126
    (117, 0, 9)
    0103000


    Taxonomic Overview for Matrix 'M26094' (42 Taxa)

    taxon unscored
    cells
    scored
    cells
    no cell
    support
    NPA
    cells
    "-" cellscell images labels on
    cell images
    member
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    [1] † Youngolepis
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    7412112107004
    [2] † Diabolepis
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    121727109004
    [3] † Powichthys
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    7712011805004
    [4] † Porolepis
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    5214214108004
    [5] † Glyptolepis
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    19169169014004
    [6] † Tungsenia
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    128716203004
    [7] † Kenichthys
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    8011811704004
    [8] † Gooloogongia
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    961059902004
    [9] † Sauripterus
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    167343101004
    [10] † Barameda
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    4914912905004
    [11] † Screbinodus
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    123774802004
    [12] † Rhizodus
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    130715301004
    [13] † Strepsodus
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    125765701004
    [14] † Gyroptychius
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    7012812604004
    [15] † Osteolepis
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    5913813406004
    [16] † Gogonasus
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    1191175010004
    [17] † Medoevia
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    4215515305004
    [18] † Cladarosymblema
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    4215314407004
    [19] † Megalichthys
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    21171169010004
    [20] † Ectosteorhachis
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    8411111107004
    [21] † Beelarongia
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    125746103004
    [22] † Canowindra
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    129706603004
    [23] † Koharalepis
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    102957005004
    [24] † Marsdenichthys
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    8311610203004
    [25] † Spodichthys
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    8811211202004
    [26] † Tristichopterus
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    6813011304004
    [27] † Eusthenopteron
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    019819604004
    [28] † Jarvikina
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    9110810803004
    [29] † Platycephalichthys
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    103989601004
    [30] † Cabonnichthys
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    5214614504004
    [31] † Mandageria
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    4415315205004
    [32] † Eusthenodon
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    103979602004
    [33] † Hongyu
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    153474702004
    [34] † Bruehnopteron murphyi
    Last Modified in 08/28/19
    9410410104004
    [35] † Tinirau clackae
    Last Modified in 08/28/19
    7412312105004
    [36] † Panderichthys
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    819117906004
    [37] † Elpistostege
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    34160148011004
    [38] † Tiktaalik
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    30165151010004
    [39] † Ventastega curonica
    Last Modified in 06/20/19
    1028988011004
    [40] † Acanthostega
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    18172171012004
    [41] † Ichthyostega
    Last Modified in 04/17/20
    21170169011004
    [42] † Tulerpeton curtum
    Last Modified in 06/17/19
    167333202004


    Project views

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    Project overview69
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    Matrix views30Matrix landing page (23 views); Tetrapodomorph_phylogeny (7 views);
    Taxon list76
    Specimen list73
    Bibliography16
    Views for media list8




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