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Nodal Events in Forebrain Evolution

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Concepts of brain evolution within a group of animals depend upon an understanding of the phylogenetic relationships of the animals themselves. Classic concepts based upon a linear or "scala naturae" model of vertebrate evolution resulted in linear models of forcbrain evolution involving sequential addition of components such as "archicortex", "paleocortex" and "neocortex". This paper examines forebrain evolution in amniotes in the context of an amniote phylogeny based on modern techniques of phylogenetic systematics or cladistics. Analysis of forebrain characters common to all amniotes identifies a basic configuration of the forebrain with a pallium, striatum and septum. Analysis of variation of forebrain characters within those clades of amniotes with Recent representatives allows conclusions about the configuration of the forebrain at principal nodes in the amniote cladogram. Nodal patterns can be defined for mammals, turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodilians and birds. In contrast to the classic concept, the analysis suggests reptilian and mammalian patterns of forebrain organization were derived independently from a basal amniote pattern.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, The University of Chicago, 1025 E. 57th Street, Chicago, Illinnis 60637, U.S.A.


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