Comparative Vertebrate Neuroanatomy: Evolution and by Ann B. Butler

By Ann B. Butler

It is a important textual content for figuring out the why's and wherefore's of neuroanatomy in vertebrates and a superb source for examine in cognitive neuroscience and behavioral neurobiology while evaluating neuroanatomy inside of and throughout species.

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Without the stipulation, that is, specification, of the homology, any statement of homology is incomplete. Consider, for example, the following two statements, both of which are true: • The wing of a bird is homologous to the wing of a bat. • The wing of a bird is not homologous to the wing of a bat. These two statements, although both true, are both incomplete and hence are seemingly in conflict. The wing of a bird is homologous to the wing of a bat as a derivative of the forelimb. The common ancestors of birds and bats possessed forelimbs of a similar basic construction, from which the wings are derived in both cases.

In our example, we thus first examine taxon K, the outgroup, or sister taxon, to the group of B and A, for the presence or absence of the trait and find that it is present in K. One possible scenario, which would require two transformations, is that the trait was gained at some point in the common ancestor of K, A, and B (transformation 1) and was subsequently lost in A (transformation 2). The alternative scenario is equally likely, since it would also require two transformations—the absence of the trait in the common ancestor with its independent gain in K (transformation 1) and B (transformation 2).

In both homology and parallelism, similar structures are present in closely related animals with similar survival problems that have adapted in similar ways. Historical homology differs from parallelism only in the consistency with which the structure is phenotypically expressed along the phyletic lineage or across the phylogeny of extant taxa. When such instances of similar structures being present in closely related species occur, distinguishing between parallelism and historical homology can sometimes be difficult.

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