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The atlas-axis complex in the late Paleozoic genus Diadectes and the characteristics of the atlas-axis complex across the amphibian to amniote transition

  • Stuart S. Sumida (a1) and R. Eric Lombard (a1)

Abstract

The atlas-axis complex in the Early Permian diadectomorph Diadectes is shown to be similar to those of a variety of primitive amniotes. Diadectes does not possess elements in addition to the standard complement seen in advanced batrachosaurs and primitive amniotes as previously thought. Characteristics of the complex include: paired, well-developed proatlases and atlantal neural arches, lack of atlantal neural spines, an extremely robust atlantal intercentrum, fusion of the atlantal pleurocentrum and axial intercentrum, a large anterior projection of the axial intercentrum, exclusion of the atlantal pleurocentrum from ventral exposure, fusion of axial neural arch and pleurocentrum, and a robustly developed axial neural spine. An analysis of the transformations of the atlas-axis complex in advanced anthracosaurs and primitive amniotes indicates that many of the characteristics of the complex previously thought to be definitive of amniotes or reptiles appear to be conditions common to Diadectes plus Amniota.

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The atlas-axis complex in the late Paleozoic genus Diadectes and the characteristics of the atlas-axis complex across the amphibian to amniote transition

  • Stuart S. Sumida (a1) and R. Eric Lombard (a1)

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