Four-dimensional analysis of early pelvic girdle development in Rana temporaria

Christine Pomikal*, Roland Blumer, Johannes Streicher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

17 Citations (Scopus)


A key event in vertebrate evolution is the linkage of the appendicular to the axial skeleton. The present study investigates the developmental dynamics of pelvic girdle morphogenesis in Rana temporaria up until metamorphosis, with respect to its functional and spatio-temporal organization. The main questions to be addressed are: initial location and the number of elements contributing to pelvic girdle formation, mechanism of bridging between the pelvic anlage and the sacrum and arthrogenesis. Serial histological sections of specimens from Gosner Stages 30 to 41 were bright-field microscopically examined and 3D-reconstructed. 3D-models were merged to 4D-animations illustrating the complex developmental dynamics through time. The results reveal the initial formation of a single mesenchymal condensation located close to the appendicular skeleton, but far from the axial skeleton. In addition, our analysis detects a thin connective tissue strand in R. temporaria guiding the elongation of the ilium towards the sacrum. The 4D-visualization allows novel insight into the ilio-sacral bridging process and the reorientation of the pelvis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-301
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Morphology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D-reconstruction
  • 4D-visualization
  • Hip bone
  • Pelvic girdle
  • Rana temporaria
  • Sacrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology


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