These fins were made for walking

January 15, 2019

We are very honored to have contributed to good friend and colleague Prof. Jennifer Clack's festschrift -- celebrating her ground-breaking career unraveling early tetrapod evolution.

Dickson, Blake V. & Pierce, Stephanie E. (2019). How (and why) fins turn into limbs: insights from anglerfishEarth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1-17.

The #OpenAccess research used contrast-enhanced CT scanning to create 3D reconstructions of the pectoral fins of various anglerfish -- including the amazingly charismatic walking frogfish and batfish. We show that walking anglerfish have bigger and stonger muscles than their non-walking cousins and that their pectoral fin structure has many commonalities with early tetrapods. Below is a fun animation of the 3D musculoskeletal anatomy of the scarlet frogfish Antennarius coccineus (MCZ:Ich:6807).