Skip to main content
Article
Of Chicken Wings and Frog Legs: A Smorgasbord of Evolutionary Variation in Mechanisms of Tetrapod Limb Development
Biology Faculty Publications
  • Geffrey F. Stopper, Sacred Heart University
  • Günter P. Wagner, Yale University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
12-1-2005
Abstract
The tetrapod limb, which has served as a paradigm for the study of development and morphological evolution, is becoming a paradigm for developmental evolution as well. In its origin and diversification, the tetrapod limb has undergone a great deal of remodeling. These morphological changes and other evolutionary phenomena have produced variation in mechanisms of tetrapod limb development. Here, we review that variation in the four major clades of limbed tetrapods. Comparisons in a phylogenetic context reveal details of development and evolution that otherwise may have been unclear. Such details include apparent differences in the mechanisms of dorsal–ventral patterning and limb identity specification between mouse and chick and mechanistic novelties in amniotes, anurans, and urodeles. As we gain a better understanding of the details of limb development, further differences among taxa will be revealed. The use of appropriate comparative techniques in a phylogenetic context thus sheds light on evolutionary transitions in limb morphology and the generality of developmental models across species and is therefore important to both evolutionary and developmental biologists.
Comments

At the time of publication Geffrey F. Stopper was affiliated with Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University.

DOI
10.1016/j.ydbio.2005.09.010
Citation Information
Stopper, Geffrey P. and Günter P. Wagner. "Of Chicken Wings and Frog Legs: A Smorgasbord of Evolutionary Variation in Mechanisms of Tetrapod Limb Development." Developmental Biology 288.1 (2005): 21–39.