Journal of Anatomy
Original Item ID
Gekkotan lizards of the genus Hemidactylus exhibit derived digital morphologies. These include heavily reduced antepenultimate phalanges of digits III and IV of the manus and digits III–V of the pes, as well as enigmatic cartilaginous structures called paraphalanges. Despite this well-known morphological derivation, no studies have investigated the development of these structures. We aimed to determine if heterochrony underlies the derived antepenultimate phalanges of Hemidactylus. Furthermore, we aimed to determine if convergently evolved paraphalanges exhibit similar or divergent developmental patterns. Herein we describe embryonic skeletal development in the hands and feet of four gekkonid species, exhibiting a range of digital morphologies. We determined that the derived antepenultimate phalanges of Hemidactylus are the products of paedomorphosis. Furthermore, we found divergent developmental patterns between convergently evolved paraphalanges.
Griffing, Aaron H.; Gamble, Tony; Bauer, Aaron M.; and Russell, Anthony P., "Ontogeny of the Paraphalanges and Derived Phalanges of Hemidactylus turcicus (Squamata: Gekkonidae)" (2022). Biological Sciences Faculty Research and Publications. 922.
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