Evolution of synovial joints Not surprisingly such an efficient mechanism is widespread and found in most vertebrates from lungfish onwards. In lungfish a synovial joint is found only in the jaw, with most other joints being simpler: symphyses with a cartilaginous region between them. We can imagine that this could be made more flexible if the cartilage had fluid filled holes in it, which might join up into a single cavity surrounded by a fibrocartilaginous ring. Large pressures exerted on the bones might then bring the cartilage-covered ends into contact, in conjunction with a developing system of lubrication. This is no more than a good story, but we can find most of the postulated intermediates in lower vertebrates, with the synovial joint coming into its own at about the time of the conquest of land. Movements in synovial joints. These can be very extensive the shoulder joint being particularly free and able to move around three axes. Various schemes of classification of synovial joints have been used and will be found in different
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