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Skull Morphological Evolution in Faunivorous Marsupials

Bubadué, J, Cáceres, N, Brum, M and Meloro, C (2023) Skull Morphological Evolution in Faunivorous Marsupials. In: American and Australasian Marsupials: An Evolutionary, Biogeographical, and Ecological Approach. Springer, Cham, pp. 431-451. ISBN 9783031084188

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Marsupials have a long evolutionary history of diversification in the Southern Hemisphere, where they expanded geographic distribution from America through Antarctica, reaching Australasia. American and Australasian marsupials have mostly evolved and diversified independently, albeit sharing some evolutionary patterns of morphological variation. Based on morphological traits of the cranium and the mandible, it was found that marsupial phenotypic variation significantly correlates with dietary adaptions along a size gradient from small insectivorous taxa, toward intermediate omnivores and then larger carnivores. This variation is phylogenetically structured in both biogeographical groups. Evolutionary rates in cranial morphology do not differ between American and Australasian marsupials; however differences occur in the mandible with Australasian species evolving at faster rates than American ones. This is probably the result of larger size variation associated to functional demands in producing stronger bite force by the largest carnivorous taxa within this clade.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Springer, Cham
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2024 14:36
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2024 14:36
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/978-3-031-08419-5_7
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22599
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