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A. General Considerations

1. Definitions
Crescent-shaped or arc-shaped portions of the endosketon
Fxn = support for the paired appendages
Pectoral = anterior appendages
Pelvic = posterior appendages
Elongated structure lying in the midventral region of the anterior part of the trunk
Combination of pectoral girdle, sternum and ribs = strengthen the anterior trunk in relation to
the air-breathing habit and the presence of lungs
Paired appendages
For fishes = fins = ichthyopterygian
For land vertebrates = limbs = cheiropterygian
Pectoral fins/forelimbs
1. Articulate with the pectoral girdle
2. Support is transmitted to the body by the pectoral girdle
3. Rarely directly jointed with the Vertebral Column
Pelvic fin/hindlimbs
1. Articulate with the pelvic girdle and transmit support to this girdle
2. Large and more massive
3. Strongly articulated to the vertebral column by the way of sacral ribs = region
called sacrum
4. Sacrum lacking in fishes-fins not for support but for locomotion

2. Origin of Paired Appendages

Paired fins of fishes Paired limbs of tetrapods
Fin-Fold Theory
The ancestral vertebrate possessed a pair of continuous fin folds, one along each
side of the trunk, which fused behind the anus to a single median fin, extending
around the tail and along the middorsal line
In fishes
1. Paired fin folds Paired fins
2. Median fin fold Median Fins

3. Origin of the limb girdles

Series of endoskeletal rods to which muscles are attached for moving the fins
1. Primitively one pterygiophore and one muscle bud per segment
2. Then subdivided into 3 or 4 pieces
a. Radials distal pieces next the dermal fin rays
b. Basals proximal pieces in the fin base

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4. Evolution of fish fin to tetrapod limb
Ancerstors : Dipnoi and Crossopterygii
Monoaxial type of fin
Axial series of elements with rays to both sides
Prototype of all fish fins and tetrapod limbs

5. Parts of the Primitive Limb

Tetrapod limb = cheiropterygium
Divisible into three sections
1. Upper arm in the forelimb
2. Thigh in the hindlimb
3. Humerus and femur
1. Forearm in the forelimb
2. Shank in the hindlimb
3. Radius-ulna (pre-axial side) and tiba-fibula (post-axial side)
Fusion of stylo and zeugo
1. Elbow = forelimb
2. Knee = hindlimb
1. Basipodium
a. Carpus in the forelimb
b. Tarsus in the hindlimb
c. Wrist and Ankle = proximal row of 3 bones (radiale or tibiale,
intermedium, ulnare or fibulare), central group of 4 bones (centralia)
and a distal group of five carpalia or tarsalia
2. Metapodium
a. Metacarpus in the forelimb
b. Metatarsus in the hindlimb
3. Acropodium (pentadactyl)
a. Digits = fingers
b. Digits = toes
c. Numbered from the pre-axial to the post-axial (2-3-4-5-4)
d. Evidence of 7 digits
- Prehallex or Prepollex (pre-axial side)
- Postminimus (post-axial side)

B. Pelvic Girdle and the Posterior Appendages

1. The primitive pelvic girdle

Consists on each side of the enlarged, most proximal cartilage of the basal series

2. Pelvic Girdle and Pelvic Fins of Elasmobranchs

Pair of Pelvic rods or plates has fused across in the midventral line to form the cartilaginous
pelvic girdle

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Pelvic Girdle
Bar of cartilage across the ventral side at the end of the trunk region
Consists of:
1. Puboischiac Bar ventrally
2. Iliac Processes slightly projecting dorsal ends
Pelvin Fin
Articulates to the puboischiac process at the base of the iliac process
Have an endoskeleton of a number of cartilaginous pieces =
pterygiophores/cartilaginous fin rays
1. Basals medial series of enlarged cartilages
2. Radials outer series of small, rodlike cartilages
Metapterygium single basal long, curved cartilage extending along the whole
medial border of the fin
Propterygium small and anterior to the metapterygium
Note : Basals have probably arisen by the fusion of a number of pieces similar to

3. The Tetrapod Pelvic Girdle

Originally a cartilaginous puboischiac plate with dorsally extending iliac process
Pubis and ischiac region of ossification in the puboischiac plate
Ilium - region of ossification in the iliac process
Symphysis cartilaginous union in the midventral region of the pubis and iscium
cup-shaped depression that receives the head of the femur. All three bones meet
Anterior to it is the ilium attached to its upper edge to the sacral ribs, so that
sacrum and pelvic girdle forms a skeletal circle = exit of urogenital and digestive
Pubic foramen Puboischiac foramen Obturator Foramen
Minor Elements in various tetrapods
Epipubis Single paired median forward projection from the pubis (in turtle)
Prepubic / Pectineal Process Lateral forward pubic projections (in turtle)
Hypoischium Single or paired backward projection from the ischium (reptiles)
Separate acetabular bone

4. Pelvic Girdle and Hind limb of reptiles

Pelvic Girdle
Complete Ossification, not much cartilage remains
Inverted Arch / U-form
Three pair of Stout bones = Two pairs ventral, one pair dorsal
1. Ventral Pairs
a. Pubis in front, ischium behind
b. Meet in the midventral line by means of pubic and ischiac symphysis
2. Dorsal Pair
a. Ilium articulated at their dorsal end to the two sacral ribs
Obturator foramen = between pubis and ischium
Epipubic cartilage = extends forward from the pubic symphysis

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Prepubic/Pectineal Process = lateral prominent anterior projection from the
Posture modified from primitive condition
Femur with head fitting into the acetabulum
Tibia and fibula(smaller)
Tibiale, intermedium, fibulare and centralia
1. Fused = tibiale
2. Separate = fibulare
Tarsalia (4 in which fourth and fifth fused)
Phalanges 2,3,3,3,3
Intratarsal Joint = ankle joint occurs between the two rows of ankle bones

5. Pelvic Girdle and hindlimbs of Birds

Pelvic Girdle
Highly modified
Consists of three parts fused into a continuous broad bone = inniminate bone
1. Ilium = largest and most dorsal part forming a thin elongated plate concave
in front, convex behind extending from the last thoracic vertebra to the tail
region, fused along its entire length with the synsacrum bounded by suture
2. Ischium = below the rear half of ilium separated from the ilium by the large,
oral ilioischiac foramen
3. Pubis long, slender bone along the ventral border of the ischium, from
which it is separated by a more or less distinct suture and by the slit-like
obturator foramen
4. Ilium, ischium, pubis contribute to the formation of the acetabulum
perforated by an acetabular foramen
Absence of pubic and ischiac symphysis = so the two innominate bones are
separated ventrally = adaptation for the laying of large eggs
1. Head large fitting into the acetabulum
2. Great Trochanter prominent projection lateral to the head
3. Distal end shaped like a pulley consisting of central depressions with curved
ridges = condyles, on either side
Patella/Knee Cap
1. Over the joint between thigh and shank
2. It is a sesamoid bone = a bone developed in a tendon
1. Tibiotarsus medial, large bone
a. consists of tibia fused at its distal end with the proximal tarsal bones
b. proximal end has two condyles for articulation with the condyles of
the femur and bears in front two diverging elevations or crests for
muscle attachments
c. distal end has a pulley-like surface for articulation with the succeeding
bone formed by raised articular surfaces = malleoli
2. Fibula lateral short rudimentary bone whose distal portion is atrophied

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1. Long stout bone beyond the tibiotarsus
2. Evidently formed by the fusion of three bones as shown by the three ridges on
its distal end = metatarsals + distal ankle bones
3. Hence the ankle bones do not exist separately in adult birds = Intratarsal
a. Proximal fused to the lower end of the tibia
b. Distal fused to the upper ends of the metatarsals
4. Three metatarsals in the tarsometatarsus
a. Second
b. Third
c. Fourth
d. First = remnant is present as a small projection on the medial side on
the distal end of the tarsometatarsus
5. Metatarsal = each articulates with its respective clawed digit; fifth metatarsal
and digits are absent

6. Pelvic Girdle and hindlimbs of Mammals

Pelvic Girdle
Innominate or hip bone = three bones indistinguishably fused
1. Ilium
a. Largest and most dorsal
b. Articulates with the sacrum and terminates anteriorly and dorsally in a
curved border = crest of ilium
2. Ischium
a. Dorsal region of the girdle posterior to the acetabulum
b. Posterior end forms a prominent projection = ischiac tuberosity
extending toward the midventral line as the rami of the Ischia
3. Pubis
a. Anterior ventral part
b. Also have a rami and fused = pubic symphysis
Obturator foramen between rami of ischium and pubis
1. Head
2. Greater trochanter lateral to the head (for muscle attachment)
3. Lesser trochanter below the head (for muscle attachment)
4. Condyles (medial and lateral)
a. Large articulating surfaces at the distal end of the femur
b. Bear additional elevated areas = epicondyles
Patella = knee joint
1. Stout tibia
a. Anterior face presents a crest
b. Have proximal articulating surfaces = condyles
c. Have distal articulating surfaces = malleoli
2. Slender fibula
Ankle Bones
1. Calcaneus largest which projects backward as the heel

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2. Astragalus articulate with the malleoli of the tibia and fibula
3. Scaphoid/navicular in front of astragalus and a curved bone reaching the
medial side of the foot
4. Cuboid in front of calcaneus articulating with the fourth and fifth
5. Third or Lateral Cuneiform medial to the cuboid articulating with the
third metatarsal
6. Second or Intermediate Cuneiform medial to the lateral cuneiform
articulating with the second metatarsal
7. First or Medial Cuneiform along the medial border of the anterior part of
the ankle in front of the scaphoid or navicular articulating with the small
rudimentary first metatarsal
1. Consists of four long metatarsals (one is rudimentary)
1. Beak-shaped for the support of horny claws

C. The Pectoral Girdle, the Sternum and the Anterior Paired Appendages

1. Pectoral Girdle and Pectoral Fin of Elasmobranchs

Pectoral Girdle
Purely endoskeletal and in the same primitive condition as the pelvic girdle
Coracoid bar = median ventral portion between the bases of the two fins
Scapular Process = long processes extending dorsally beyond the articulations of
the fins
Suprascapular Cartilages = separate pieces consisting the ends of scapular
Pectoral Fin
Cartilaginous Fin Rays
1. Basals = enlarged proximal rows
a. Metapterygium = inner one, longest
b. Mesopterygium = middle one
c. Protopterygium = outer one
No trace of sternum

2. Pectoral Girdle, Sternum and Forelimbs of Reptiles

Lacks Sternum since there is a plastron
Pectoral girdle moved into the inside of the ribs
Dermal part Plastron
1. Entoplastron Interclavicle
2. Epiplastron Clavicle
3. Other elements Gastralia
Endoskeleton Part tripartite bony structure
1. Precoracoid Ventral
2. Scapula Dorsal and elongated reaching the carapace
3. Prescapular Process Anterior projection from the scapula representing the
acromion process seen in mammals

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Carpus fairly primitive condition
1. Center is occupied by a long bone = fused radiale, centrale and other centralia
1. At its distal end
a. Outer ulnare
b. Inner intermedium
Row of carpalia articulates with the metacarpals

3. Pectoral Girdle, Sternum and Forelimb of Birds

Pectoral Girdle
Similar to reptiles
1. Scapula long, sword-like bone lying above the ribs (participate in g. fossa)
2. Precoracoid stout bone reaching the sternum ((participate in glenoid fossa)
3. Wishbone or Furcula in front of the precoracoid
a. Dermal part of the girdle and really consist of clavicle, forming the
two folks and united posteriorly to a rounded median piece =
Elongated bone
1. Keel/Carina = a strong ventral projection serving for attachment of the
powerful flight muscles
2. Costal Process = anterior end of sternum, short
3. Xiphisternal Process = two, long processes on each side
Adapted for flight by the concentration of its distal elements
1. Stout
2. Fits into the glenoid fossa by a convex head, to either side of which are
prominent projections, greater and lesser tuberosities (for muscle
a. Lesser Tuberosity (Preaxial)
o Deltoid ridge = a sharp ridge distally along the lesser
tuberosities marking the pre-axial or radial side of the limb
and so indicates the dorsal rotation which the humerus
b. Greater Tuberosity (Postaxial)
o Pneumatic foramen = entrance into the air space in the
Radius and Ulna
1. More slender than the ulna with a proximal end a projection = olecranon
1. Greatly altered consisting of two separate bones
2. Remaining wrist bones are fused to metacarpals = carpometacarpus (3
a. Two long ones
b. One short hump on the radial side
3. Claw usually present on the first finger

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4. Pectoral Girdle, Sternum and Forelimb of Mammals
Small, slender bones embedded in muscle
Not articulated to any other part of the skeleton
Large, flat, triangular bones above the anterior of the ribs
Apex articulating with the humerus
1. Spine prominent ridge on its outer surface whose ventral ridge terminates
into a pointed projection = acromion process and above it is the
metacromion process
2. Glenoid Fossa concavely curved at the apex of scapula
3. Coracoid Process small beaklike medial projection from the anterior side of
the glenoid rim
4. Muscle Attachments Surfaces
a. Supraspinous Fossa external surface anterior to the spine
b. Infraspinous Fossa external surface posterior to the spine
c. Subscapular Fossa whole internal surface
d. Vertebral Border dorsal border
e. Anterior Border anterior margin
f. Axillary Border posterior margin
Consists of longitudinal series of pieces = sternebrae (8)
1. Manubrium first and articulates with the first thoracic rib at its center
2. Next 6 body
3. Xiphisternum last and terminates in a xiphoid or ensiform cartilage
1. Has a large, rounded head fitting into the glenoid fossa
2. Greater and lesser tuberosities
3. Anterior surface = elevated into ridges or crests (points of muscle
4. Lower end = rounded for articulation with the bones of the forearm
a. Capitulum = outer mass, above is the lateral epicondyle
b. Trochlea = medial mass, above is the medial epicondyle
5. Supracondyloid Foramen = opening near the medial epicondyle bounded by
supracondylod ridge
1. Larger than radius
2. Olecranon/Elbow = prominent projection at the proximal end of the ulna
3. Semilunar Notch = distal to the elbow representing a deep semicircular
4. Coronoid process = projection from the distal border of the semilunar notch
1. Crosses obliquely in front of the ulna
1. Smaller bones in two transverse row

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a. Proximal row = 3
o Scapholunar = articulates with the distal end of the radius
o Triquetral/ulnare = articulaltes with the ulna
o Pissiform = element projecting prominently lateral to
triquetral bone; a sesamoid bone = bone formed in a tendon
b. Distal row = 4 (from medial to lateral)
o Greater multangular first carpale
o Lesser multangular second carpale
o Central central (missing in cat)
o Capitate third carpale
o Hamate fourth and fifth carpales fused
2. Five metacarpals first is very much reduced
3. Five digits terminal phalanges support the horny claws

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