Limbs in vertebrate animals evolved 400 million years ago when our ancestors left the water and first ventured on to land. Today birds fly, sea turtles swim, and people play tennis using muscles that first developed in those ancient relatives. How have limbs diversified across all these descendants? Researcher Daniel Smith Paredes discusses what we can learn about the evolutionary history of arm and leg muscles from embryonic development in different species.
Daniel Smith Paredes is an evolutionary biologist from Chile, where he studied how the development of the skeleton in birds offers insight into their evolution. His PhD research in Yale’s Department of Earth and Planetary Science in Anjan Bhullar’s lab explored the evolutionary and developmental biology of musculature in land vertebrates.