You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Origin of the Lungless Salamanders (Amphibia: Plethodontidae)
John A. Ruben and Arthur J. Boucot
The American Naturalist
Vol. 134, No. 2 (Aug., 1989), pp. 161-169
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2462096
Page Count: 9
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
It has been generally accepted that lunglessness in plethodontid salamanders results from a selection for increased ballast in aquatic, Late Cretaceous ancestors that inhabited fast-moving, cool Appalachian mountain brooks. However, late Mesozoic mountain-stream environments consistent with that scenario were probably absent from the region: geological evidence indicates that late Mesozoic Appalachia was a chronically warm, low-elevation, non-montane region with little relief and topography. An alternative hypothesis for the origin of plethodontid salamanders is considered. We suggest that proto-plethodontids may have been only semi-aquatic or terrestrial. Supporting evidence includes a plethodontid-like reliance on cutaneous respiration in certain extant ambystomatid salamanders.
The American Naturalist © 1989 The University of Chicago Press