2:58 minutes
Problem 4
Textbook Question

The size and shape of the vertebrate skull can reveal a great deal about an animal’s lifestyle and evolutionary relationships. Consider your own skull. If you put your finger in your ear and move your jaw up and down, you can feel the space near the hinge of your jaw. Nestled in this space are the tiny bones that make your hearing possible: the malleus, incus, and stapes. All mammals have these three ear bones, but reptiles such as this T. rex don’t. Where did ear bones come from? Gene expression patterns can be used to test hypotheses based on morphology. For example, the regulatory gene Bapx1 is expressed in the hinge of the developing lower jaw in fishes and reptiles. Where would you predict Bapx1 expression to occur in mammals?

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