Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Science and art bring back to life 300-million-year-old specimens of a primitive reptile-like vertebrate

Date:
July 21, 2014
Source:
University of Lincoln
Summary:
Paleontologists have recreated the cranial structure of a 308-million-year-old lizard-like vertebrate that could be the earliest example of a reptile and explain the origin of all vertebrates that belong to reptiles, birds and mammals.

Cranial reconstruction of Gephyrostegus bohemicus.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Lincoln

Paleontologists from the Natural History Museum and academics from Lincoln, Cambridge and Solvakia have recreated the cranial structure of a 308-million-year-old lizard-like vertebrate that could be the earliest example of a reptile and explain the origin of all vertebrates that belong to reptiles, birds and mammals.

Related Articles


Dr Marcello Ruta, from the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK, was one of the authors of the paper which is published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology and produced a series of intricate hand-drawn recreations of the cranial structure of Gephyrostegus.

Paleontologists have provided a new cranial reconstruction of a long-extinct limbed vertebrate (tetrapod) from previously unrecognised specimens found in coal deposits from the Czech Republic.

The team of academics reviewed the cranial structural features of the Late Carboniferous Gephyrostegus bohemicus -- a small animal of generally lizard-like build that lived 308 million years ago.

This early tetrapod could be the earliest example of a reptile and explain the origin of amniotes, all vertebrates that belong to reptiles, birds and mammals.

Experts from, Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia), University Museum of Zoology in Cambridge, The Natural History Museum in London, and the University of Lincoln, UK, have been able to study additional specimens unavailable in previous works.

Their aim was to provide an analysis of early tetrapod relationships incorporating their new observations of Gephyrostegus. Their analysis used skeletal traits across a sample of early tetrapod groups to identify the likely affinities of Gephyrostegus.

Their results are detailed in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Dr Marcello Ruta, from the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK, was one of the authors and produced a series of intricate hand-drawn recreations of the cranial structure of Gephyrostegus.

He explained: "Gephyrostegus has always been an elusive beast. Several researchers have long considered the possibility that the superficially reptile-like features of this animal might tell us something about amniote ancestry. But Gephyrostegus also shows some much generalised skeletal features that make the issue of its origin even more problematic. We conducted a new study that brings together data from a large number of early tetrapods. The study shows that Gephyrostegus is closely related to another group of Eurasiatic and North American tetrapods called seymouriamorphs, also involved in debates about amniote ancestry. We found some interesting new cranial features in Gephyrostegus that helped us establish this link.

"Staring at specimens for a long time down a microscope and trying to make sense of their anatomy may be frustrating and tiring at times, but always immensely rewarding."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Jozef Klembara, Jennifer A. Clack, Andrew R. Milner, Marcello Ruta. Cranial anatomy, ontogeny, and relationships of the Late Carboniferous tetrapodGephyrostegus bohemicusJaekel, 1902. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 2014; 34 (4): 774 DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2014.837055

Cite This Page:

University of Lincoln. "Science and art bring back to life 300-million-year-old specimens of a primitive reptile-like vertebrate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140721123739.htm>.
University of Lincoln. (2014, July 21). Science and art bring back to life 300-million-year-old specimens of a primitive reptile-like vertebrate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140721123739.htm
University of Lincoln. "Science and art bring back to life 300-million-year-old specimens of a primitive reptile-like vertebrate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140721123739.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Ancient techniques of growing greens with fish and water are well ahead of Toronto bylaws. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chihuahua Sleeps on Top of Great Dane

Chihuahua Sleeps on Top of Great Dane

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) As this giant Great Dane lays down for bedtime he accompanied by an adorable companion. Watch a tiny Chihuahua jump up and prepare to sleep on top of his friend. Now that&apos;s a pretty big bed! Credit to &apos;emma_hussey01&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Newsy (Jan. 27, 2015) The Food and Agriculture Organization says millions could face famine in Madagascar without more funding to finish locust eradication efforts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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