Speaker Series 2018: Evolutionary Experiments in the Early Tetrapod Form

The early origins of amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians) are not well understood. This is due to their rarity in the early fossil record, as well as incomplete scientific understanding of four-legged vertebrate (tetrapod) evolution and the anatomy of possible amphibian relatives. Newly discovered fossils from the Triassic Period give us insights into the origins of caecilians, a group of limbless amphibians from tropical rainforests around the globe. This research contributes to an emerging picture of the early evolution of tetrapods, of which the origin of modern amphibians is a part.

In his presentation, Jason Pardo, Ph. D. candidate at the University of Calgary, talks about addressing the gaps in scientific understanding of early tetrapod evolution. Pardo and his colleagues used high-resolution medical imaging technologies to learn more about the possible fossil ancestors of modern amphibians.

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