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Descriptive Anatomy and Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of the Skull of the Early Tetrapod Acanthostega gunnari Jarvik, 1952

Porro, LB; Rayfield, EJ; Clack, JA; (2015) Descriptive Anatomy and Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of the Skull of the Early Tetrapod Acanthostega gunnari Jarvik, 1952. PLOS ONE , 10 (3) , Article e0118882. 10.1371/journal.pone.0118882. Green open access

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Abstract

The early tetrapod Acanthostega gunnari is an iconic fossil taxon exhibiting skeletal morphology reflecting the transition of vertebrates from water onto land. Computed tomography data of two Acanthostega skulls was segmented using visualization software to digitally separate bone from matrix and individual bones of the skull from each other. A revised description of cranial and lower jaw anatomy in this taxon based on CT data includes new details of sutural morphology, the previously undescribed quadrate and articular bones, and the mandibular symphysis. Sutural morphology is used to infer loading regime in the skull during feeding, and suggests Acanthostega used its anterior jaws to initially seize prey while smaller posterior teeth were used to restrain struggling prey during ingestion. Novel methods were used to repair and retrodeform the skull, resulting in a three-dimensional digital reconstruction that features a longer postorbital region and more strongly hooked anterior lower jaw than previous attempts while supporting the presence of a midline gap between the nasals and median rostrals.

Type: Article
Title: Descriptive Anatomy and Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of the Skull of the Early Tetrapod Acanthostega gunnari Jarvik, 1952
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118882
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118882
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright: © 2015 Porro et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Keywords: Skull, Jaw, Teeth, Computed axial tomography, Maxilla, Cranium, Joints (anatomy), Symphyses
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10092913
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