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1 January 2015 Paleohistology of Micropholis stowi (Dissorophoidea) and Lydekkerina huxleyi (Lydekkerinidae) Humeri from the Karoo Basin of South Africa, and Implications for Bone Microstructure Evolution in Temnospondyl Amphibians
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Abstract
Temnospondyl amphibians are a large and diverse group of early tetrapods, whose paleohistology has been incompletely studied. Here, humeri of Micropholis stowi and Lydekkerina huxleyi from the Karoo Basin of South Africa (Katberg Formation) were thin-sectioned for paleohistological analysis. Diaphyseal bone histology of both taxa exhibits a convergence to fibrolamellar tissue and an absence of lines of arrested growth; additionally, medullary cavities free of trabeculae support terrestrial lifestyles in both Micropholis and Lydekkerina. The presence of azonal tissue in Micropholis is unlike that of other dissorophoids or extant caudatans, suggesting an adaptation to local conditions in the Early Triassic of the Karoo Basin, as well as a complicated and incompletely studied pattern of histological evolution in dissorophoids. Additionally, the propodial histology of these and 12 other taxa were assessed through different broad-scale phylogenetic hypotheses for Temnospondyli. Results reveal convergence towards sustained, non-cyclical growth and an absence of lines of arrested growth in the diaphyses of Early Triassic temnospondyls. The optimization of histological traits on to existing phylogenetic hypotheses is equally parsimonious between the different topologies. Homoplasy among histological characters suggests that evolutionary history in this group is overshadowed by developmental plasticity in bone microstructure, potentially due to environmental and biomechanical constraints. However, the interpretation of these data is limited by small sample size, and increased sampling is required to validate the patterns revealed in this study.
© by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
and Julia B. McHugh "Paleohistology of Micropholis stowi (Dissorophoidea) and Lydekkerina huxleyi (Lydekkerinidae) Humeri from the Karoo Basin of South Africa, and Implications for Bone Microstructure Evolution in Temnospondyl Amphibians," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 35(1), (1 January 2015). https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2014.902845
Received: 18 April 2003; Accepted: 1 February 2014; Published: 1 January 2015
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