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Polydactyly and other limb abnormalities in the Jurassic salamander Chunerpeton from China

Wang, Y; Dong, L; Evans, SE; (2016) Polydactyly and other limb abnormalities in the Jurassic salamander Chunerpeton from China. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments , 96 (1) pp. 49-59. 10.1007/s12549-015-0219-7. Green open access

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Abstract

Polydactyly and other malformations such as supernumerary limbs are relatively common in extant salamander populations. They generally result from biotic or abiotic disruption of normal regeneration following non-lethal predator or conspecific bite injury. Here, we record, for the first time, similar malformations in a fossil salamander. Fourteen specimens of the perennibranchiate Jurassic salamander Chunerpeton tianyiensis (Urodela, Cryptobranchidae), recovered from Jianping County, Liaoning Province, China, display polydactyly or abnormal phalangeal counts in one or more limbs, and two also possess supernumerary hind limbs. Polydactyly in Chunerpeton is mainly post-axial, occurring on the feet more often than the hands, and on the right side of the body more often than on the left. The extra legs also occurred on the right side of the body. Similar conditions can be observed in living salamanders, so these specimens suggest that the challenges faced by aquatic salamanders, and the developmental processes triggered in response, have changed relatively little in 160 million years.

Type: Article
Title: Polydactyly and other limb abnormalities in the Jurassic salamander Chunerpeton from China
Location: Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s12549-015-0219-7
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12549-015-0219-7
Language: English
Additional information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12549-015-0219-7.
Keywords: Polydactyly, Supernumerary limbs, Phalangeal abnormalities, Jurassic, Salamander, Chunerpeton
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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/1471729
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