Big news! Blake's application of functional adaptive landscapes to early tetrapod humeri was published today in NATURE! The research shows that the early tetrapod 'L-shaped' humerus provided some functional benefit for moving on land - but that these early land explorers were probably not very good at it. Evolution of additional traits in crown tetrapods resulted in dramtic functional improvements for effective limb-based locomotion and diversification into terrestrial habitats.
Dickson, B.V., Clack, J.A., Smithson, T.R. Pierce, S.E. Functional adaptive landscapes predict terrestrial capacity at the origin of limbs. Nature (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2974-5
Aerial scene depicts two Late Devonian early tetrapods - Ichthyostega and Acanthostega - coming out of the water to move on land. Footprints trail behind the animals to show a sense of movement. Original artwork created by scientific illustrator Davide Bonadonna.