Masters Theses


"In order to better understand the evolution of miniaturization in Acris blanchardi, a North American Hylid with a unique life history and of ecological interest in the United States. The development and ossification sequences of 48 larvae, 5 juveniles and 5 adult A. blanchardi were examined. The adult was described by Maglia et al. (2007) to be a miniature and to display morphological novelties. In addition, 44 larvae, 2 juvenile and 5 adults of Pseudacris crucifer a closely related frog that has been suggested to be a miniature, were examined. The cranial and postcranial adult elements of this species, as well as development and ossification of the larvae were described. The onset of ossification is described for both species and, to better understand timing relative to other hylids, they are compared to a non-miniature, Hyla lanciformis. Ossification of the cranial elements in A. blanchardi begins at similar Gosner Stages as Hyla lanciformis, but most elements never fully ossify. P. crucifer begins ossification of cranial elements much later in development but continues ossification longer and ossifies more completely. In addition to poor ossification, A. blanchardi also adds novel endochondral ossification and random mineralization to the cranium to support under-ossified elements such as the nasals and otic capsule. Based on these results, the patterns of ossification leading to miniaturization in A. blanchardi are revealed, and no evidence of miniaturization in page crucifer was discovered"--Abstract, page iv.


Maglia, Anne M.

Committee Member(s)

Leopold, Jennifer
Mormile, Melanie R.


Biological Sciences

Degree Name

M.S. in Applied and Environmental Biology


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2010

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Larval development of Acris blanchardi
  • Adult skeletal description and larval skeletal development of the Spring Peeper, Pseudacris crucifer (Anura: Hylidae)


xii, 115 pages


© 2010 Sarah Beth Havens, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Frogs -- Development
Frogs -- Evolution -- North America

Thesis Number

T 9613

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