Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

From ocean to land: The fishy origins of our hips

Date:
May 14, 2013
Source:
Monash University
Summary:
New research has revealed that the evolution of the complex, weight-bearing hips of walking animals from the basic hips of fish was a much simpler process than previously thought.

Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).
Credit: mgkuijpers / Fotolia

New research has revealed that the evolution of the complex, weight-bearing hips of walking animals from the basic hips of fish was a much simpler process than previously thought.

Tetrapods, or four-legged animals, first stepped onto land about 395 million years ago. This significant change was made possible by strong hipbones and a connection through the spine via an ilium -- features that were not present in the fish ancestors of tetrapods.

In a study published in the journal Evolution and Development, Dr Catherine Boisvert of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University, MacQuarie University's Professor Jean Joss and Professor Per Ahlberg of Uppsala University examined the hip structures of some of human's closest fish cousins.

They found the differences between us and them are not as great as they appear -- most of the key elements necessary for the transformation to human hips were actually already present in our fish ancestors.

Dr Boisvert and her collaborators compared the hip development -- bones and musculature -- of the Australian lung fish and the Axolotl, commonly known as the Mexican Walking Fish. The results showed that, surprisingly, the transition from simple fish hip to complex weight-bearing hip could be done in a few evolutionary steps.

"Many of the muscles thought to be 'new' in tetrapods evolved from muscles already present in lungfish. We also found evidence of a new, more simple path by which skeletal structures would have evolved," Dr Boisvert said.

The researchers found that the sitting bones would have evolved by the extension of the already existing pubis. The connection to the vertebral column could have evolved from an illiac process already present in fish.

"The transition from ocean-dwelling to land-dwelling animals was a major event in the evolution of terrestrial animals, including humans, and an altered hip was an essential enabling step," Dr Boisvert said.

"Our research shows that what initially appeared to be a large change in morphology could be done with relatively few developmental steps."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Monash University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Catherine Anne Boisvert, Jean MP Joss, Per E Ahlberg. Comparative pelvic development of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri): conservation and innovation across the fish-tetrapod transition. EvoDevo, 2013; 4 (1): 3 DOI: 10.1186/2041-9139-4-3

Cite This Page:

Monash University. "From ocean to land: The fishy origins of our hips." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514101501.htm>.
Monash University. (2013, May 14). From ocean to land: The fishy origins of our hips. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514101501.htm
Monash University. "From ocean to land: The fishy origins of our hips." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514101501.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins