Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


  • Lorenzo Quaglietta
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_394-1



Lifestyle enclosing living (or life stages) both in water and on land

Origin of Life and Transition from Water to Land

Animal life developed in water and later invaded the land. Primitive land organisms were mostly myriapod-like forms occupying cryptozoic (i.e., low light, stable and cool temperature, high humidity) habitats. Providing complementary oxygen supply to water respiration during periods of oxygen shortage, air-breathing likely evolved in response to the insurgence of large areas of shallow waters provoked by the shift of the continents in the Silurian period, global decline in oxygen levels during the Middle Devonian, and higher metabolic costs due to greater mobility, competition, and predation pressures. In the end of the Devonian period, the so-called tetrapods (modern amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals), animals with limbs, supporting the skeleton, and lungs, slowly...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Brischoux, F., Bonnet, X., Cook, T. R., & Shine, R. (2008). Allometry of diving capacities: Ectothermy vs. endothermy. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21, 324–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Erlandson, J. M. (2001). The archaeology of aquatic adaptations: Paradigms for a new millennium. Journal of Archaeological Research, 9, 287–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Estes, J. A. (1989). Adaptations for aquatic living by carnivores. In J. L. Gittleman (Ed.), Carnivore behavior, ecology, and evolution (pp. 242–282). Boston: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fish, F. E., & Stein, B. R. (1991). Functional correlates of differences in bone density among terrestrial and aquatic genera in the family Mustelidae (Mammalia). Zoomorphology, 110, 339–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Frost, P. G. H., Siegfried, W. R., & Burger, A. E. (1976). Behavioural adaptations of the Jackass penguin, Spheniscus demersus to a hot, arid environment. Journal of Zoology, 179, 165–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Graham, J. B. (Ed.). (1997). Air-breathing fishes: Evolution, diversity, and adaptation. San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  7. Kruuk, H. (2006). Otters: Ecology, behaviour and conservation. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Liwanag, H. E., Berta, A., Costa, D. P., Abney, M., & Williams, T. M. (2012). Morphological and thermal properties of mammalian insulation: The evolution of fur for aquatic living. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 106, 926–939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lytle, D. A., & Poff, N. L. (2004). Adaptation to natural flow regimes. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 19, 94–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Pough, F. H. (1980). The advantages of ectothermy for tetrapods. The American Naturalist, 115, 92–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Quaglietta, L., Mira, A., & Boitani, L. (2018). Extrinsic and intrinsic factors affecting the daily rhythms of a semiaquatic carnivore in a Mediterranean environment. Hystrix, the Italian Journal of Mammalogy, 28 (2).  https://doi.org/10.4404/hystrix-00022-2017
  12. Scholander, P. F. (1940). Experimental investigations on the respiratory function in diving mammals and birds. Hvalradets Skrifter, 22, 1–131.Google Scholar
  13. Scholander, P. F., Hock, R., Walters, V., Johnson, F., & Irving, L. (1950). Heat regulation in some arctic and tropical mammals and birds. The Biological Bulletin, 99, 237–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Stephan, H., & Bauchot, R. (1959). Le cerveau de Galemys pyrenaicus Geoffroy, 1811 (Insectivora Talpidae) et ses modifications dans l’adaptation à la vie aquatique. Mammalia, 23, 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Van Valkenburgh, B., Curtis, A., Samuels, J. X., Bird, D., Fulkerson, B., Meachen-Samuels, J., & Slater, G. J. (2011). Aquatic adaptations in the nose of carnivorans: Evidence from the turbinates. Journal of Anatomy, 218, 298–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CIBIO/InBio, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos GeneticosUniversidade do PortoVairãoPortugal
  2. 2.CEABN/InBio, Centro de Ecologia Aplicada “Professor Baeta Neves”, Instituto Superior de AgronomiaUniversidade de Lisboa, Tapada da AjudaLisboaPortugal

Section editors and affiliations

  • Caroline Leuchtenberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal Institute FarroupilhaPanambiBrazil