Data from: Adaptation and constraint in the evolution of the mammalian backbone

Katrina E. Jones, Lorena Benitez, Kenneth D. Angielczyk & Stephanie E. Pierce
Background: The axial skeleton consists of repeating units (vertebrae) that are integrated through their development and evolution. Unlike most tetrapods, vertebrae in the mammalian trunk are subdivided into distinct thoracic and lumbar modules, resulting in a system that is constrained in terms of count but highly variable in morphology. This study asks how thoracolumbar regionalization has impacted adaptation and evolvability across mammals. Using geometric morphometrics, we examine evolutionary patterns in five vertebral positions from diverse...
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