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Are cranial biomechanical simulation data linked to known diets in extant taxa? A method for applying diet-biomechanics linkage models to infer feeding capability of extinct species.

Tseng ZJ, Flynn JJ - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: However, the prevalence of "many-to-one" association of cranial forms and functions in vertebrates suggests a complex interplay of ecological and evolutionary histories, resulting in redundant morphology-diet linkages.Nevertheless, combined bite force-strain energy curves distinguish hypercarnivorous versus generalist feeders.These findings indicate that the link between cranial biomechanical properties and carnivoran feeding preference can be clearly defined and characterized, despite phylogenetic and allometric effects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, New York, 10024, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Performance of the masticatory system directly influences feeding and survival, so adaptive hypotheses often are proposed to explain craniodental evolution via functional morphology changes. However, the prevalence of "many-to-one" association of cranial forms and functions in vertebrates suggests a complex interplay of ecological and evolutionary histories, resulting in redundant morphology-diet linkages. Here we examine the link between cranial biomechanical properties for taxa with different dietary preferences in crown clade Carnivora, the most diverse clade of carnivorous mammals. We test whether hypercarnivores and generalists can be distinguished based on cranial mechanical simulation models, and how such diet-biomechanics linkages relate to morphology. Comparative finite element and geometric morphometrics analyses document that predicted bite force is positively allometric relative to skull strain energy; this is achieved in part by increased stiffness in larger skull models and shape changes that resist deformation and displacement. Size-standardized strain energy levels do not reflect feeding preferences; instead, caniform models have higher strain energy than feliform models. This caniform-feliform split is reinforced by a sensitivity analysis using published models for six additional taxa. Nevertheless, combined bite force-strain energy curves distinguish hypercarnivorous versus generalist feeders. These findings indicate that the link between cranial biomechanical properties and carnivoran feeding preference can be clearly defined and characterized, despite phylogenetic and allometric effects. Application of this diet-biomechanics linkage model to an analysis of an extinct stem carnivoramorphan and an outgroup creodont species provides biomechanical evidence for the evolution of taxa into distinct hypercarnivorous and generalist feeding styles prior to the appearance of crown carnivoran clades with similar feeding preferences.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Regression analyses of FE analyses on upper dentitions.Results bracketing the entire dentition are shown by species values at the first tooth position (dark circles) and the last tooth position (hollow circle) for parts A, C, and D.A. Output bite force versus input load, in Newtons. B. Input load versus total model volume, circles represent species values, with the outlier Panthera pardus indicated by a hollow circle. The two upper fitted curves represent exponential and linear regressions without the outlier. The bottom curve shows regression incorporating the outlier. C. Total strain energy versus total model volume. Both regressions did not include the outlier. D. Strain energy versus input load. Regression analyses were conducted with and without Panthera pardus because that species has outlying values for both input load and strain energy estimates. The last tooth position (hollow circles) may be a different locus in taxa sampled, ranging from M1 to M3, because of evolutionary loss of teeth at the posterior end of the tooth row. Abbreviations: Cl, Canis lupus; Hj, Herpestes javanicus; Mm, Mephitis mephitis; Oh, Oodectes herpestoides; Pl, Procyon lotor; Pp, Panthera pardus; Tv, Thinocyon velox.
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pone.0124020.g002: Regression analyses of FE analyses on upper dentitions.Results bracketing the entire dentition are shown by species values at the first tooth position (dark circles) and the last tooth position (hollow circle) for parts A, C, and D.A. Output bite force versus input load, in Newtons. B. Input load versus total model volume, circles represent species values, with the outlier Panthera pardus indicated by a hollow circle. The two upper fitted curves represent exponential and linear regressions without the outlier. The bottom curve shows regression incorporating the outlier. C. Total strain energy versus total model volume. Both regressions did not include the outlier. D. Strain energy versus input load. Regression analyses were conducted with and without Panthera pardus because that species has outlying values for both input load and strain energy estimates. The last tooth position (hollow circles) may be a different locus in taxa sampled, ranging from M1 to M3, because of evolutionary loss of teeth at the posterior end of the tooth row. Abbreviations: Cl, Canis lupus; Hj, Herpestes javanicus; Mm, Mephitis mephitis; Oh, Oodectes herpestoides; Pl, Procyon lotor; Pp, Panthera pardus; Tv, Thinocyon velox.

Mentions: Results of FE analyses show an isometric relationship between input load and output bite force (Fig 2A and Table 2); this trend is significant in both regression analyses of the raw values and phylogenetic independent contrasts (PICs). Regression analyses also show a positively allometric relationship between input load and volume, and isometry between strain energy and volume (Fig 2B and 2C). However, neither trend was statistically significant in regressions using PICs (Table 3).


Are cranial biomechanical simulation data linked to known diets in extant taxa? A method for applying diet-biomechanics linkage models to infer feeding capability of extinct species.

Tseng ZJ, Flynn JJ - PLoS ONE (2015)

Regression analyses of FE analyses on upper dentitions.Results bracketing the entire dentition are shown by species values at the first tooth position (dark circles) and the last tooth position (hollow circle) for parts A, C, and D.A. Output bite force versus input load, in Newtons. B. Input load versus total model volume, circles represent species values, with the outlier Panthera pardus indicated by a hollow circle. The two upper fitted curves represent exponential and linear regressions without the outlier. The bottom curve shows regression incorporating the outlier. C. Total strain energy versus total model volume. Both regressions did not include the outlier. D. Strain energy versus input load. Regression analyses were conducted with and without Panthera pardus because that species has outlying values for both input load and strain energy estimates. The last tooth position (hollow circles) may be a different locus in taxa sampled, ranging from M1 to M3, because of evolutionary loss of teeth at the posterior end of the tooth row. Abbreviations: Cl, Canis lupus; Hj, Herpestes javanicus; Mm, Mephitis mephitis; Oh, Oodectes herpestoides; Pl, Procyon lotor; Pp, Panthera pardus; Tv, Thinocyon velox.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4414467&req=5

pone.0124020.g002: Regression analyses of FE analyses on upper dentitions.Results bracketing the entire dentition are shown by species values at the first tooth position (dark circles) and the last tooth position (hollow circle) for parts A, C, and D.A. Output bite force versus input load, in Newtons. B. Input load versus total model volume, circles represent species values, with the outlier Panthera pardus indicated by a hollow circle. The two upper fitted curves represent exponential and linear regressions without the outlier. The bottom curve shows regression incorporating the outlier. C. Total strain energy versus total model volume. Both regressions did not include the outlier. D. Strain energy versus input load. Regression analyses were conducted with and without Panthera pardus because that species has outlying values for both input load and strain energy estimates. The last tooth position (hollow circles) may be a different locus in taxa sampled, ranging from M1 to M3, because of evolutionary loss of teeth at the posterior end of the tooth row. Abbreviations: Cl, Canis lupus; Hj, Herpestes javanicus; Mm, Mephitis mephitis; Oh, Oodectes herpestoides; Pl, Procyon lotor; Pp, Panthera pardus; Tv, Thinocyon velox.
Mentions: Results of FE analyses show an isometric relationship between input load and output bite force (Fig 2A and Table 2); this trend is significant in both regression analyses of the raw values and phylogenetic independent contrasts (PICs). Regression analyses also show a positively allometric relationship between input load and volume, and isometry between strain energy and volume (Fig 2B and 2C). However, neither trend was statistically significant in regressions using PICs (Table 3).

Bottom Line: However, the prevalence of "many-to-one" association of cranial forms and functions in vertebrates suggests a complex interplay of ecological and evolutionary histories, resulting in redundant morphology-diet linkages.Nevertheless, combined bite force-strain energy curves distinguish hypercarnivorous versus generalist feeders.These findings indicate that the link between cranial biomechanical properties and carnivoran feeding preference can be clearly defined and characterized, despite phylogenetic and allometric effects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, New York, 10024, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Performance of the masticatory system directly influences feeding and survival, so adaptive hypotheses often are proposed to explain craniodental evolution via functional morphology changes. However, the prevalence of "many-to-one" association of cranial forms and functions in vertebrates suggests a complex interplay of ecological and evolutionary histories, resulting in redundant morphology-diet linkages. Here we examine the link between cranial biomechanical properties for taxa with different dietary preferences in crown clade Carnivora, the most diverse clade of carnivorous mammals. We test whether hypercarnivores and generalists can be distinguished based on cranial mechanical simulation models, and how such diet-biomechanics linkages relate to morphology. Comparative finite element and geometric morphometrics analyses document that predicted bite force is positively allometric relative to skull strain energy; this is achieved in part by increased stiffness in larger skull models and shape changes that resist deformation and displacement. Size-standardized strain energy levels do not reflect feeding preferences; instead, caniform models have higher strain energy than feliform models. This caniform-feliform split is reinforced by a sensitivity analysis using published models for six additional taxa. Nevertheless, combined bite force-strain energy curves distinguish hypercarnivorous versus generalist feeders. These findings indicate that the link between cranial biomechanical properties and carnivoran feeding preference can be clearly defined and characterized, despite phylogenetic and allometric effects. Application of this diet-biomechanics linkage model to an analysis of an extinct stem carnivoramorphan and an outgroup creodont species provides biomechanical evidence for the evolution of taxa into distinct hypercarnivorous and generalist feeding styles prior to the appearance of crown carnivoran clades with similar feeding preferences.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus