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Re: Earliest land tetrapods had problem swallowing



Doesn't surprise me. Most of those animals, including probably all outside the temnospondyl + amniote clade (which they all call the tetrapod crown-group, which it may not be), were about as terrestrial as an eel or catfish at the most. Insert rant about Walking with Prehistoric Beasts here.

S3-1. 1 COATES, M. I. ; Univ.  of Chicago, Chicago;
> mcoates@uchicago.edu
>
> Vertebrate diversity and phylogeny across the fish-to-tetrapod
> transition.
>
> [...] However, if the tetrapods are defined on the basis of all taxa
> more closely related to living forms than to lungfishes (or
> coelacanths), then the picture of diversity flanking the
> fish-to-tetrapod transition changes.

Of course, that clade already has a name, and has had it for... over 20 years now, I think: Tetrapodomorpha. Its sister-group, which contains lungfishes and porolepiforms, has been called Dipnomorpha for the same time.

S3-1. 3 PIERCE, SP*;  HUTCHINSON, JR; CLACK, JA; The RoyalVeterinary
> College, UK, University Museum of Zoology,Cambridge, UK;
> spierce@rvcac.uk
>
> Historical evolution of early tetrapod movement.
>
> [...] New fossil footprints have challenged this idea by inferring
> early tetrapods were walking -perhaps partially supported by water -
> 20 million years before any known tetrapod body fossils.

As has been pointed out in the very recent literature, these trackmakers don't need to have been tetrapods or even other tetrapodomorphs. In very shallow water, lungfish walk -- I think it was Nature where the paper and the video were published last year.

I don't know if I'm already allowed to talk about what happens when you take a bichir (*Polypterus*, an actinopterygian) out of water.