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Fossil and living tetrapods HTML5


The comparison of the organization of the skeletons of anterior limbs of fossil and living species of tetrapods shows that these species display a homology among their limbs.

Within the group of tetrapods there exists a great diversity of methods of locomotion. Some animals are adapted to a terrestrial environment, others to an aquatic environment and still others to an aerial environment. The anterior lilmb of each species has a particular form, adapted to its environment.

This animation ends with the evolutionary tree of the tetrapods, showing for example that birds belong to the same group as dinosaurs. Note also that certain fossil species, like pterosaurs, are not part of the dinosaur group.

In the tab « Anterior limb », click on the pictures of animals to see their skeletons, then check the boxes for different bones.

Learning goals

  • To approach the notions of species, biodiversity and evolution.
  • To approach the notion of homology by comparing the skeletons of the anterior limbs of different species of tetrapod, fossil and living.
  • To understand that scientific classification is based on the theory of evolution.