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Macroevolutionary ecomorphology of the Carnivora skull: adaptations and constraints in the extant species

Meloro, C and Tamagnini, D (2021) Macroevolutionary ecomorphology of the Carnivora skull: adaptations and constraints in the extant species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 196 (3). pp. 1054-1068. ISSN 0024-4082

ZOJ-04-2021-4570_Proof_hi.pdf - Accepted Version

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The mammalian order Carnivora is characterized by a broad taxonomic and ecological diversity. By using a large sample of extant species, we tested the impact of ecological factors on carnivoran skull (cranium and mandible) morphology, taking advantage of a combined geometric morphometrics and comparative method approach. We implemented several evolutionary models to account for different tempo and mode of evolution in size and shape data. These models validated the association between skull morphology and diet at the interspecific scale. The functional distinction between pinniped (aquatic) and fissiped (mostly terrestrial) taxa was found valid only in mandible shape and cranial size. High levels of morphological disparity and evolutionary rates were identified in specialized dietary groups, and positive association between rates and disparity was found for skull size. Cranium and mandible showed consistent patterns of covariation that reflect constrained functional processes, which stabilize the ecomorphological evolution of Carnivora. Aquatic adaptations allowed carnivorans to invade and persist within novel regions of the mandibular morphospace. This ecological shift did not increase morphological disparity but occurred at a faster rate than in terrestrial species. Those species exhibit a stronger level of cranio-mandibular covariation due to constraints imposed by more demanding masticatory adaptations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society following peer review. The version of record Carlo Meloro, Davide Tamagnini, Macroevolutionary ecomorphology of the Carnivora skull: adaptations and constraints in the extant species, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 196, Issue 3, November 2022, Pages 1054–1068 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlab075
Uncontrolled Keywords: BODY-SIZE; comparative methods; CONVERGENCE; cranium; diet; EARLY BURSTS; FISSIPED CARNIVORES; fissipeds; geometric morphometrics; Life Sciences & Biomedicine; mandible; MORPHOLOGICAL INTEGRATION; phylogenetic generalized least squares; PHYLOGENETIC SIGNAL; pinnipeds; R PACKAGE; Science & Technology; shape; SHAPE EVOLUTION; SHELL SHAPE; STABILIZING SELECTION; Zoology; Science & Technology; Life Sciences & Biomedicine; Zoology; comparative methods; cranium; diet; fissipeds; geometric morphometrics; mandible; phylogenetic generalized least squares; pinnipeds; shape; PHYLOGENETIC SIGNAL; BODY-SIZE; MORPHOLOGICAL INTEGRATION; STABILIZING SELECTION; FISSIPED CARNIVORES; SHAPE EVOLUTION; EARLY BURSTS; SHELL SHAPE; R PACKAGE; CONVERGENCE; 0608 Zoology; Evolutionary Biology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2022 10:42
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2023 09:35
DOI or ID number: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlab075
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18423
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