Table of Contents: February 2009

The jaws of vertebrates, their origins, and their associated dentitions have long been a topic of interest among both paleontologists and evolutionary developmental biologists. The modern diversity of Lake Malawi cichlids has been used here to offer a new perspective on the relationships between teeth on two sets of functional jaws—oral and pharyngeal—and the origins of the vertebrate dentition in the throat of jawless fishes some 500 million years ago (see Fraser et al., e1000031).

Image Credit: Photograph by Ryan F. Bloomquist (Georgia Institute of Technology).

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