Whatcheeriidae

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Whatcheeriidae
Temporal range: Early Carboniferous
Pederpes22small.jpg
Pederpes finneyi
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Tetrapodomorpha
Clade: Stegocephalia
Family: Whatcheeriidae
Clack, 2002
Genera

Whatcheeriidae is an extinct family of tetrapods which lived in the Mississippian sub-period, a subdivision of the Carboniferous period. It contains the genera Pederpes, Whatcheeria, and possibly Ossinodus. Fossils of a possible whatcheeriid have been found from the Red Hill locality of Pennsylvania. If these remains are from a whatcheeriid, they extend the range of the family into the Late Devonian and suggest that advanced tetrapods may have lived alongside primitive tetrapod ancestors like Hynerpeton and Densignathus.[1] They also imply that a very long ghost lineage of whatcheeriids lived through Romer's gap, a period during the Early Carboniferous conspicuously lacking in tetrapod remains.[2]

Classification[edit]

Currently, using modern cladistic taxonomy, Whatcheeriidae is not placed in Amphibia or any other class but simply as its own family within stem-group tetrapods. The analysis below was conducted by Swartz in 2012, showing the relationship of whatcheeriids with other stem-tetrapods.[3]

Elpistostegalia

Panderichthys Panderichthys BW.jpg


Stegocephalia


Tiktaalik Tiktaalik BW.jpg



Elpistostege





Elginerpeton Elginerpeton BW.jpg




Ventastega




Acanthostega Acanthostega BW.jpg




Ichthyostega Ichthyostega BW.jpg




Whatcheeriidae Pederpes22small.jpg




Colosteidae Greererpeton BW.jpg




Crassigyrinus Crassigyrinus BW.jpg




Baphetidae



Crown group Tetrapoda Seymouria BW.jpg












References[edit]

  1. ^ Daeschler, E.B.; Clack, J.A.; Shubin, N.H. (2009). "Late Devonian tetrapod remains from Red Hill, Pennsylvania, USA: how much diversity?". Acta Zoologica. 90 (s1): 306–317. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6395.2008.00361.x. 
  2. ^ Smithson, T.R.; Wood, S.P.; Marshall, J.E.A.; Clack, J.A. (2012). "Earliest Carboniferous tetrapod and arthropod faunas from Scotland populate Romer's Gap". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. in press. doi:10.1073/pnas.1117332109. 
  3. ^ Swartz, B. (2012). "A marine stem-tetrapod from the Devonian of Western North America". PLoS ONE. 7 (3): e33683. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033683. PMC 3308997free to read. PMID 22448265.