News Focus2013 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting

Eating Was Tough For Early Tetrapods

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Science  25 Jan 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6118, pp. 390-391
DOI: 10.1126/science.339.6118.390

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While a fin-to-limb transition made possible the first steps on land for vertebrates 390 million years ago, it took a long time for ancient tetrapods to leave behind their aquatic ways and become true landlubbers. After that initial landfall, another 80 million years went by before tetrapods developed jaws adapted for terrestrial feeding. Questions abound regarding the eating habits of early tetrapods and how they were able to swallow.