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UF scientists reveal ancient origin of vertebrate skeleton

eys and hagfishes, is bone, pure and simple," Caldwell said. "It is the lack of bone in these animals and the supposed uniqueness of their cartilage, that has for so long plagued scientists in their attempts to place them in the evolutionary scheme. An entire taxonomy was created for animals that basically have a head at one end and cartilage to hold it together, but no bone. But this work says the common feature of vertebrates is not the presence or absence of bone, but the presence of a shared gene system that produces cartilage. This conclusion is illuminating and extremely important."


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Source:University of Florida


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