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Phylogeny, diet, and cranial integration in australodelphian marsupials.

Goswami A - PLoS ONE (2007)

Bottom Line: Size-related correlations have a significant affect on results, particularly in Peramelia, which shows a striking decrease in similarity of integration among species when size is removed.Diet is not significantly correlated with similarity of integration in any marsupial clade.These results show that marsupials differ markedly from placental mammals in the relationships of cranial integration, phylogeny, and diet, which may be related to the accelerated development of the masticatory apparatus in marsupials.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America. agos06@esc.cam.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Studies of morphological integration provide valuable information on the correlated evolution of traits and its relationship to long-term patterns of morphological evolution. Thus far, studies of morphological integration in mammals have focused on placentals and have demonstrated that similarity in integration is broadly correlated with phylogenetic distance and dietary similarity. Detailed studies have also demonstrated a significant correlation between developmental relationships among structures and adult morphological integration. However, these studies have not yet been applied to marsupial taxa, which differ greatly from placentals in reproductive strategy and cranial development and could provide the diversity necessary to assess the relationships among phylogeny, ecology, development, and cranial integration. This study presents analyses of morphological integration in 20 species of australodelphian marsupials, and shows that phylogeny is significantly correlated with similarity of morphological integration in most clades. Size-related correlations have a significant affect on results, particularly in Peramelia, which shows a striking decrease in similarity of integration among species when size is removed. Diet is not significantly correlated with similarity of integration in any marsupial clade. These results show that marsupials differ markedly from placental mammals in the relationships of cranial integration, phylogeny, and diet, which may be related to the accelerated development of the masticatory apparatus in marsupials.

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Cranial landmarks, shown on Echymipera kalubu.Symmetrical landmarks are shown on one side only.
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pone-0000995-g001: Cranial landmarks, shown on Echymipera kalubu.Symmetrical landmarks are shown on one side only.

Mentions: Cranial landmarks were captured using an Immersion Microscribe G2×3-D digitizer. Fifty-seven landmarks were collected across the skull, emphasizing points of certain homology across taxa, such as tripartite sutures. In addition, landmarks corresponding to those in earlier studies also were used, to permit direct comparison with previous results. Landmarks are listed in Table 1 and illustrated in Figure 1 (symmetrical landmarks are displayed on one side only).


Phylogeny, diet, and cranial integration in australodelphian marsupials.

Goswami A - PLoS ONE (2007)

Cranial landmarks, shown on Echymipera kalubu.Symmetrical landmarks are shown on one side only.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC1994583&req=5

pone-0000995-g001: Cranial landmarks, shown on Echymipera kalubu.Symmetrical landmarks are shown on one side only.
Mentions: Cranial landmarks were captured using an Immersion Microscribe G2×3-D digitizer. Fifty-seven landmarks were collected across the skull, emphasizing points of certain homology across taxa, such as tripartite sutures. In addition, landmarks corresponding to those in earlier studies also were used, to permit direct comparison with previous results. Landmarks are listed in Table 1 and illustrated in Figure 1 (symmetrical landmarks are displayed on one side only).

Bottom Line: Size-related correlations have a significant affect on results, particularly in Peramelia, which shows a striking decrease in similarity of integration among species when size is removed.Diet is not significantly correlated with similarity of integration in any marsupial clade.These results show that marsupials differ markedly from placental mammals in the relationships of cranial integration, phylogeny, and diet, which may be related to the accelerated development of the masticatory apparatus in marsupials.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America. agos06@esc.cam.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Studies of morphological integration provide valuable information on the correlated evolution of traits and its relationship to long-term patterns of morphological evolution. Thus far, studies of morphological integration in mammals have focused on placentals and have demonstrated that similarity in integration is broadly correlated with phylogenetic distance and dietary similarity. Detailed studies have also demonstrated a significant correlation between developmental relationships among structures and adult morphological integration. However, these studies have not yet been applied to marsupial taxa, which differ greatly from placentals in reproductive strategy and cranial development and could provide the diversity necessary to assess the relationships among phylogeny, ecology, development, and cranial integration. This study presents analyses of morphological integration in 20 species of australodelphian marsupials, and shows that phylogeny is significantly correlated with similarity of morphological integration in most clades. Size-related correlations have a significant affect on results, particularly in Peramelia, which shows a striking decrease in similarity of integration among species when size is removed. Diet is not significantly correlated with similarity of integration in any marsupial clade. These results show that marsupials differ markedly from placental mammals in the relationships of cranial integration, phylogeny, and diet, which may be related to the accelerated development of the masticatory apparatus in marsupials.

Show MeSH