During the late Devonian Period the older aquatic clades split from the tetrapods. The tetrapods continued to evolve over time. There are four classes of tetrapods: amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. They evolved in this order as well. Within the four classes, the limbs of different groups changed and adapted in order to suit their surrounding environment. This led to many different tetrapod morphologies resulting in some tetrapods evolving for terrestrial lifestyles, some for aquatic surroundings and others for aerial existences.
Amphibians, semi-aquatic animals, a...
... middle of paper ...
...as a strong enough force to move vertebrates onto land. In order to do so, four limbs that allow for movement and radiation in the terrestrial world were developed. Both the fossil records and extant animals provide a cladistics map of how fish became tetrapods and how tetrapods split into amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
Blount, Kitty, and Maggie Crowley, eds. Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life. New
York: Dk Publishing, Inc., 2008. Accessed November 29, 2011, http://books.google.com/books?id=a8bQxpPqmQgC&dq=Encyclopedia+of+Dinosaurs+and+Prehistoric+Life++By+Dorling+Kindersley&source=gbs_navlinks_s.
Feduccia, Alan. The origin and evolution of birds. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.
Accessed November 29, 2011,
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