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Tetrapodomorph facts for kids

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Temporal range: early Devonian-Recent
Tiktaalik BW.jpg
The basal tetrapodomorph Tiktaalik
Scientific classification

Tetrapodomorpha is a clade of vertebrates. It is a clade of the Sarcopterygii which includes tetrapods (four-limbed vertebrates) and their closest relatives. Tetrapodomorpha is part of Rhipidistia.

Advanced transitional fossils between fish and the early labyrinthodonts, like Tiktaalik, are informally called 'fishapods' by their discoverers. They are half-fish half-tetrapods, in appearance and limb morphology.

Tetrapodomorpha contains

  1. the stem group tetrapoda, extinct fossil relatives of the crown group. This is a paraphyletic unit covering the fish to tetrapod transition. Tetrapodomorpha contains several groups of related lobe-finned fishes, collectively known as the osteolepiforms.
  2. the crown group tetrapods, the last common ancestor of living tetrapods and all of its descendants.

Among the characters defining tetrapodomorphs are modifications to the fins, notably a humerus with convex head articulating with the glenoid fossa (the socket of the shoulder joint).

Tetrapodomorph fossils are known from the early Devonian onwards, and include Eusthenopteron, Osteolepis, Panderichthys, Tiktaalik, Ventastega and Kenichthys.

The fossils of the early Mississippian, Pederpes and Whatcheeria are regarded as early tetrapods whose relationships are not yet clear.

Related pages

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Tetrapodomorpha para niños

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