The Evolution of Terrestrial Locomotion

  • James L. Edwards
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSB, volume 14)


Although the derivation of tetrapods from rhipidistians is now generally accepted (Szarski, 1962 and this volume; Schaeffer, 1965; Schmalhausen, 1968; Jarvik, 1968), the selective pressures which led to terrestrial locomotion are still an area of dispute. Nearly all workers in this field have agreed that the tetrapod limb evolved as a locomotor organ which allowed movement away from the pond or swamp habitat of the rhipidistians and onto the land. Both biotic and abiotic stimuli have been invoked as the proximate factors pushing the Rhipidistia landward.


Standing Wave Vertebral Column Shift Line Pectoral Girdle Trunk Region 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • James L. Edwards
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of ZoologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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