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First Devonian tetrapod from Asia


The earliest tetrapods (vertebrates with limbs rather than paired fins) date from the Late Devonian Period (370–354 million years ago)1,2 — nine genera have been described, all of which are from the Euramerican supercontinent that comprises Europe, north America and Greenland, apart from a single Gondwanan genus, Metaxygnathus, from Australia3,4,5. Here we report the discovery of the first Devonian tetrapod from Asia, a finding that substantially extends the geographical range of these animals and raises new questions about their dispersal. These forms seem to have achieved worldwide distribution and great taxonomic diversity within a relatively short time.

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Figure 1: A new Devonian tetrapod from China.


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Correspondence to Min Zhu.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Zhu, M., Ahlberg, P., Zhao, W. et al. First Devonian tetrapod from Asia. Nature 420, 760–761 (2002).

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