Meeting Abstract

75.4  Saturday, Jan. 5  Structure & Function in Sauropsid Lungs FARMER, CG*; SCHACHNER, ER; SARRAZIN, JC; University of Utah; University of Utah; University of Utah

The lung is among the most diverse organs in the vertebrate body but the functional underpinnings and evolutionary history of this diversity are poorly understood. Because gas exchange in the lungs is the first step in the oxygen cascade, this organ plays a key role in the ability of organisms to sustain vigorous exercise and is therefore inextricably linked with ecomorphological diversification. We have been using integrative approaches to study structure-function relationships in a range of vertebrates with the aim of understanding the evolutionary history of this organ. We are currently focusing on the potential role innovations in lung structure played during one of the greatest and most controversial radiations in vertebrate history, that of the Archosauria (e.g., pterosaurs, dinosaurs, crocodilians).