2015 Volume 77 Issue 9 Pages 1043-1048
Clarification of the trunk structure in Urodela is important in understanding the locomotive evolution of basal tetrapods. The components of the muscular trunk wall among Urodela using different modes of locomotion were compared. Since the whole trunk may be used for swimming and the effect of limbs may be small in the more aquatic species, they showed smaller differences in the trunk muscles among anterior, middle and posterior sections of the trunk. By contrast, in the more terrestrial species, the dorsal and abdominal muscles are larger in the middle section than those in the anterior and posterior sections. High compressive stresses occur in the supporting limbs and their insertion at the trunk on the ventral side, and spread from the forelimbs along the back to the supporting hindlimbs on the dorsal side. Tensile stresses occur in the middle ventral part. The components of the trunk muscles among the three sections may reflect differences in stresses occurring in the trunk of the more terrestrial species. The findings also suggest that in the middle section, larger dorsal muscles for stiffening the back to maintain posture and larger abdominal muscles are responsible for balancing the body weight while it is supported by the limbs in the more terrestrial species.