Evolution of a multifunctional trait: shared effects of foraging ecology and thermoregulation on beak morphology, with consequences for song evolution

Nicholas R. Friedman, Eliot T. Miller, Jason R. Ball, Haruka Kasuga, Vladimír Remeš & Evan P. Economo
While morphological traits are often associated with multiple functions, it remains unclear how evolution balances the selective effects of different functions. Birds' beaks function in foraging, but also in thermoregulating and singing, among other behaviours. Studies of beak evolution abound, however most focus on a single function. Thus, we quantified relative contributions of different functions over an evolutionary time scale. We measured beak shape using geometric morphometrics and compared this trait to foraging behaviour, climatic...
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