During the last three decades, and particularly, very recently, our knowledge of the emergence of tetrapods has dramatically increased due to discoveries of outstanding fossils, new technologies and renewed scientific interest concerning the so-called “fish-tetrapod transition”. This article is a concise overview of our current knowledge of origin, diversity, phylogeny, biogeography and environments of the early tetrapods and their close relatives, the elpistostegalian fishes. Following a short historical review, emphasis is placed on the more recent and important discoveries and hypotheses. The most relevant and complete references concerning the different topics presented here can be found in the litterature list.
Carboniferous, Devonian, Elpistostegalians, Overview, Tetrapods