Project 3549: K. D. Bazzana, B. M. Gee, J. J. Bevitt, R. R. Reisz. 2020. Postcranial anatomy and histology of Seymouria, and the terrestriality of seymouriamorphs. PeerJ. 8:e8698.
Specimen: † Seymouria sp. (ROMVP:80915)
View: CT stack


Seymouria is the best known of the seymouriamorphs, a group of Permo-Carboniferous reptiliomorphs with both terrestrial and aquatic taxa. The majority of research on Seymouria has focused on cranial anatomy, with few detailed descriptions or illustrations of the postcrania. We utilized neutron computed tomography (nCT) and histological sampling to provide updated, detailed illustrations that clarify details of the postcranial anatomy and to assess the development and histology of Seymouria through specimens from the early Permian Richards Spur locality. The correlation of morphological and histological data indicate rapid metamorphosis in this terrestrially capable stem amniote, with the youngest specimen being postmetamorphic despite being distinctly younger than premetamorphic individuals of Discosauriscus, the only other seymouriamorph to have been histologically sampled. The microanatomical data (e.g. semi-open medullary cavity) also substantiates the hypothesis that Seymouria was terrestrial based on interpretation of external features, although the persistence of a modestly developed medullary spongiosa in comparison to either Discosauriscus or to other co-occurring terrestrial tetrapods suggests additional nuances that require further exploration. In the absence of clearly recognizable postmetamorphic stages in several seymouriamorph taxa, it is difficult to determine the evolutionary trajectory of terrestriality within the clade. Our analysis provides the first histological characterization of the life history of Seymouria and highlights the need for further study of seymouriamorph ontogeny.

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Article DOI: 10.7717/peerj.8698

Project DOI: 10.7934/P3549,
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    Authors' Institutions

    • Jilin University

    • University of Toronto

    • Royal Ontario Museum

    • Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation


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    Kayla Bazzana
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