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 August 22, 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 August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — South Koreans eat more instant ramen noodles per capita than anywhere else in the world. But American researchers say eating too much may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Aug. 21) 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