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Chewing on the trees: Constraints and adaptation in the evolution of the primate mandible

Meloro, C, Caceres, NC, Carotenuto, F, Sponchiado, J, Melo, GL, Passaro, F and Raia, P (2015) Chewing on the trees: Constraints and adaptation in the evolution of the primate mandible. EVOLUTION, 69 (7). pp. 1690-1700. ISSN 0014-3820

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Chewing on different food types is a demanding biological function. The classic assumption in studying the shape of feeding apparatuses is that animals are what they eat, meaning that adaptation to different food items accounts for most of their interspecific variation. Yet, a growing body of evidence points against this concept. We use the primate mandible as a model structure to investigate the complex interplay among shape, size, diet, and phylogeny. We find a weak but significant impact of diet on mandible shape variation in primates as a whole but not in anthropoids and catarrhines as tested in isolation. These clades mainly exhibit allometric shape changes, which are unrelated to diet. Diet is an important factor in the diversification of strepsirrhines and platyrrhines and a phylogenetic signal is detected in all primate clades. Peaks in morphological disparity occurduring the Oligocene (between 37 and 25 Ma) supporting the notion that an adaptive radiation characterized the evolution of South American monkeys. In all primate clades, the evolution of mandible size is faster than its shape pointing to a strong effect of allometry on ecomorphological diversification in this group.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Meloro, C., Cáceres, N. C., Carotenuto, F., Sponchiado, J., Melo, G. L., Passaro, F. and Raia, P. (2015), Chewing on the trees: Constraints and adaptation in the evolution of the primate mandible. Evolution, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.12694 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0603 Evolutionary Biology
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
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Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2015 12:03
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 14:15
DOI or ID number: 10.1111/evo.12694
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1515

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