Cold water and hot air: the evolution of lunglessness in amphibians
Vertebrates, Dept of Life Sciences, NHM
Wednesday 21st November,11:00
Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)
Lunglessness is rare in Amphibians but has evolved independently at least once in each of the three main groups (frogs, salamanders, caecilians). A 'classical' hypothesis for the evolution of lunglessness in salamanders explains it as an adaptation to reduce disadvantageous buoyancy in fast flowing waters. This hypothesis was first seriously challenged in the 1990's prior to the discoveries of lungless frogs and caecilians. I will review the arguments in the controversy, discuss the implications of the more recent discoveries and reveal some startling new findings regarding the true nature of the most recently described lungless caecilian.
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