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    1. Evolutionary Biology

    A Bayesian approach to dynamic homology of morphological characters and the ancestral phenotype of jawed vertebrates

    Benedict King, Martin Rücklin
    The ancestor of all known jawed vertebrates possessed a maxilla and premaxilla and was similar in morphology to the 'maxillate placoderms' from China.
    1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics
    2. Neuroscience

    Fundamental constraints in synchronous muscle limit superfast motor control in vertebrates

    Andrew F Mead et al.
    Vertebrate superfast muscles employ similar excitation–contraction strategies but distinct myosin heavy chain genes to allow superfast performance, revealing a maximum speed that cannot be overcome without sacrificing neural control.
    1. Ecology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Heart fossilization is possible and informs the evolution of cardiac outflow tract in vertebrates

    Lara Maldanis et al.
    The discovery of a fossil heart in Rhacolepis buccalis demonstrates that it is possible to scrutinize the fossil record for important clues on cardiac structure and evolution.
    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Evolution of limb development in cephalopod mollusks

    Oscar A Tarazona et al.
    Cuttlefish embryos reveal that cephalopod mollusks evolved specialized arms and tentacles by activating the same genetic circuits that control development of limbs in arthropods and vertebrates.
    1. Developmental Biology

    Cardiac neural crest contributes to cardiomyocytes in amniotes and heart regeneration in zebrafish

    Weiyi Tang et al.
    Lineage analysis reveals that cardiac neural crest contributes to cardiomyocytes across vertebrates and consistent with this, the neural crest gene regulatory program is reactivated upon heart regeneration in zebrafish.
    1. Genetics and Genomics
    2. Neuroscience

    Co-expression of xenopsin and rhabdomeric opsin in photoreceptors bearing microvilli and cilia

    Oliver Vöcking et al.
    The recently characterized opsin group of xenopsins is likely a major player in animal eye evolution and may have been present in an ancient, highly plastic eye photoreceptor cell type.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Neuroscience

    Metazoan evolution of glutamate receptors reveals unreported phylogenetic groups and divergent lineage-specific events

    David Ramos-Vicente et al.
    The animal phylogeny of glutamate receptors indicates that vertebrate types do not account for all receptor classes originated during evolution, neither are they the pinnacle of a linear evolutive process.
    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    A novel enhancer near the Pitx1 gene influences development and evolution of pelvic appendages in vertebrates

    Abbey C Thompson et al.
    Regulatory sequences downstream of a key limb identity gene are required for normal sizes of leg bones, and are changed in wild species with dramatic alterations in pelvic structures.
    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Evolutionary Biology

    Reorganisation of Hoxd regulatory landscapes during the evolution of a snake-like body plan

    Isabel Guerreiro et al.
    Despite their extreme morphologies, snakes display a global regulatory strategy of their Hox genes similar to that implemented by mammals with, however, important modifications in enhancer specificity.
    1. Evolutionary Biology
    2. Neuroscience

    Echinoderms provide missing link in the evolution of PrRP/sNPF-type neuropeptide signalling

    Luis Alfonso Yañez-Guerra et al.
    Discovery of a novel neuropeptide signalling system in a deuterostome invertebrate reveals the evolutionary origin of prolactin-releasing peptide and its relationship with neuropeptides in protostome invertebrates.