Increasing morphological disparity and decreasing optimality for jaw speed and strength during the radiation of jawed vertebrates

William Deakin, Philip Anderson, Wendy Den Boer, Thomas Smith, Jennifer Hill, Martin Rücklin, Philip Donoghue & Emily Rayfield
The Siluro-Devonian adaptive radiation of jawed vertebrates, which underpins almost all living vertebrate biodiversity, is characterised by the evolutionary innovation of the lower jaw. Multiple lines of evidence have suggested that the jaw evolved from a rostral gill arch, but when the jaw took on a feeding function remains unclear. We quantified the variety of form in the earliest jaws in the fossil record and , from which we generated a range of theoretical morphospacelogies...
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