Vestigial hind limbs in the appendicular skeleton of three genera and four species of African skink (Squamata, Scincidae)

Shane Gareth Stanley, Fayetteville State University

Abstract

Vestigiality is rampant within Order Squamata, Family Scincidae. Vestigiality is a state wherein anatomical structures have become reduced due to loss of function. This thesis describes vestigial hind limbs in three genera ( Eumecia, Melanoseps, and Voeltzlcowia) and four species (E. anchietae, M misulcuensis, V. lineata, and V. mira).While vestiges persist in some specimens (Eumecia anchietae) they are absent in others (Voeltzkowia mira). Melanoseps citer misukuensis also seems to be devoid of its former prominent hind limbs. Voeltzkowia lineata retains vestiges of hind limb girdles but they are vaguely evident. The appendicular skeletons of the species studied here are previously undescribed; however, many genera from family Scincidae have had their skeletons described, especially those from Africa and Madagascar. The four species within genera Eumecia, Melanoseps, and Voeltzkowia have reduced or totally absent hind limbs. This study adds to knowledge of skink anatomy and provides evidence, via vestigial structures, for evolution.^

Subject Area

Biology, Anatomy|Biology, General|Biology, Evolution and Development

Recommended Citation

Stanley, Shane Gareth, "Vestigial hind limbs in the appendicular skeleton of three genera and four species of African skink (Squamata, Scincidae)" (2014). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI1525798.
http://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/dissertations/AAI1525798

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