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Parallelism in the Proteidae Reconsidered
John H. Larsen, Jr. and Dan J. Guthrie
Vol. 1974, No. 3 (Oct. 18, 1974), pp. 635-643
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1442677
Page Count: 9
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Since the work of Hecht (1957), the relationship between Proteus and Necturus has been in doubt. The present investigation, based primarily on certain cephalic features, has reconsidered the case for parallelism at the familial level for these perennibranchiates. They share structures, unique among urodeles, as part of their sound-transmitting mechanism: a columellar process of the squamosal, and heterotopic ossifications within the lig. squamoso-columellare. They are also fundamentally alike in chromosome pattern and n number, hyobranchial apparatus and tooth structure and organization. They appear to be extremely ancient perennibranchiates as indicated by numerous shared specializations super-imposed on their basic neotenic habitus. After reexamination of morphological, paleontological, zoogeographic and behavioral data, it is concluded that the preponderance of available evidence supports the early workers, such as Noble (1931), who assigned these two genera to the same family, the Proteidae.