PhD Subject

Morpho-functional study of pectorals and pelvics fins of the coelacanth Latimeria - Reflexions on modality of terrestrialization of vertebrates

Coelacanths belong to Sarcopterygii, like lungfishes and tetrapods. They are characterized by the presence of fleshy paired limbs (fins or legs) with a monobasal articulation. The coelacanth shows an atypical swimming, which reminds tetrapod locomotion. This PhD project consists to know if the locomotion of coelacanth and tetrapods is inherited from a common ancestor or appeared independently in both groups. The study of the anatomy of pectorals and pelvics fins by 3D modelling and dissections, the functional morpholgy of fins and their mobility will allow to answer this question. Moreover, the evolutionary history of coelacanth (-417My - today) and the emergence of chiridian limb in the first tetrapods is well known by a large number of fossils; wich will allow to compare the evolutionary history of locomotion in coelacanths and tetrapods.