Evolution of the Second Gill Arch in Vertebrate Animals: Diverse and Complex Transformations.

What did the second gill arch evolve into?

Hyoid

The second gill arch in vertebrate animals has evolved into various structures depending on the organism’s evolution and habitat. In bony fishes, the second gill arch has evolved into the supports for the gill filaments. In primitive jawless fishes such as lampreys, the second gill arch has evolved into the muscular feeding pump for drawing water into the mouth for filter feeding.

In jawed fishes, the second gill arch has evolved into several functional structures, including the jaws, hyoid arch, and operculum. The jaws of vertebrates are derived from the cartilaginous rods that supported the gills in ancestral fishes. The hyoid arch has also evolved to support the tongue and the larynx in higher vertebrates, while the operculum has evolved to serve as a protective cover for the gills in bony fishes.

In mammals, the second gill arch has evolved into several other structures, including the stapes bone in the middle ear and the hyoid bone, which plays a role in complex movements of the tongue and larynx during speech. Overall, the second gill arch has undergone diverse and complex evolutionary transformations to support different functions in various organisms.

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