Functional constraints during development limit jaw shape evolution in marsupials

Anne-Claire Fabre, Carys Dawling, Roberto Portela Miguez, Vincent Fernandez, Eve Noirault & Anjali Goswami
Differences in jaw function experienced through ontogeny can have striking consequences for evolutionary outcomes, as has been suggested for the major clades of mammals. In contrast to placentals, marsupial newborns have an accelerated development of the head and forelimbs, allowing them to crawl to the mother’s teats to suckle within just a few weeks of conception. The different functional requirements that marsupial newborns experience in early postnatal development have been hypothesized to have constrained their...
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