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You are here: Home / Associated publications / Belgian Journal of Zoology / Bibliographic References / The anuran middle ear: developmental heterochronies and adult morphology diversification.

SV SMIRNOV (1991)

The anuran middle ear: developmental heterochronies and adult morphology diversification.

BELGIAN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 121(1):99-110.

Many anuran related species with similar modes of life and similar mating calls display the occurrence of extreme differences in their middle ear morphology (for example, middle ear present in Microhyla ornata but absent in M. heymonsi; stapes present in Bombina orientalis but absent in B. bombina; the tympanic membrane is thin and transparent in Bufo melanostictus, but covered by thich unmodified skin in B. bufo). As loss or reduction of this system has a profound negative effect on hearing sensitivity, these patterns of middle ear diversification cannot be explained in terms of functional adaptivity. The formation of the anuran middle ear is greatly delayed and retarded, it begins at relatively late premetamorphic stages and progresses through postmetamorphic development. Because of the delayed and retarded morphogeny this system is subjected to paedomorphic underdevelopment through: progenesis (M. heymonsi), neoteny (Bombina species), and post-displacement (B. bufo). The late onset of the middle ear development is predetermined; because of the peculiar anuran pattern of its morphogeny, it can be formed only at or after the end of metamorphosis. The author thinks that the occurrence of non-tympanic routes for airborne hearing decreases the pressure of functional requirements and allows developmental heterochronies to be the main factor in the diversification of the anuran middle ear.

ANURA; MIDDLE EAR; MORPHOGENY; HETEROCHRONY; PEDOMORPHOSIS
BJZ

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Editor-in-Chief:
Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium

 



1863-1903
Annales de la Société malacologique de Belgique
 
1903-1923
​Annales de la Société royale malacologique et zoologique de Belgique
 
1923-1989
Annales de la Société Royale Zoologique de Belgique
 
1989-
Belgian Journal of Zoology