24 Works

Data from: Tip-dating and homoplasy: reconciling the shallow molecular divergences of modern gharials with their long fossil record

Michael S. Y. Lee & Adam M. Yates
Simultaneously analysing morphological, molecular and stratigraphic data suggests a potential resolution to a major remaining inconsistency in crocodylian evolution. The ancient, long-snouted thoracosaurs have always been placed near the Indian gharial Gavialis, but their antiquity (ca 72 Ma) is highly incongruous with genomic evidence for the young age of the Gavialis lineage (ca 40 Ma). We reconcile this contradiction with an updated morphological dataset and novel analysis, and demonstrate that thoracosaurs are an ancient iteration...

Data from: Rapid Pliocene adaptive radiation of modern kangaroos

Aidan M. C. Couzens & Gavin J. Prideaux
Differentiating between ancient and younger, more rapidly evolved clades is important for determining paleoenvironmental drivers of diversification. Australia possesses many aridity-adapted lineages, the origins of which have been closely linked to late Miocene continental aridification. Using dental macrowear and molar crown height measurements, spanning the past 25 million years, we show that the most iconic Australian terrestrial mammals, “true” kangaroos (Macropodini), adaptively radiated in response to mid-Pliocene grassland expansion rather than Miocene aridity. In contrast,...

Data from: Genome-wide association study of an unusual dolphin mortality event reveals candidate genes for susceptibility and resistance to cetacean morbillivirus

Kimberley C. Batley, Jonathan Sandoval-Castillo, Catherine M. Kemper, Catherine R.M. Attard, Nikki Zanardo, Ikuko Tomo, Luciano B. Beheregaray & Luciana M. Möller
Infectious diseases are significant demographic and evolutionary drivers of populations, but studies about the genetic basis of disease resistance and susceptibility are scarce in wildlife populations. Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) is a highly contagious disease that is increasing in both geographic distribution and incidence, causing unusual mortality events (UME) and killing tens of thousands of individuals across multiple cetacean species worldwide since the late 1980’s. The largest CeMV outbreak in the Southern Hemisphere reported to date...

Data from: Diversification across biomes in a continental lizard radiation

Lauren G. Ashman, Jason G. Bragg, Paul Doughty, Mark Norman Hutchinson, Sarah Bank, Nick Matzke, Paul M. Oliver, Craig Moritz, N. J. Matzke & P. Oliver
Ecological opportunity is a powerful driver of evolutionary diversification, and predicts rapid lineage and phenotypic diversification following colonisation of competitor-free habitats. Alternatively, topographic or environmental heterogeneity could be key to generating and sustaining diversity. We explore these hypotheses in a widespread lineage of Australian lizards: the Gehyra variegata group. This clade occurs across two biomes: the Australian monsoonal tropics (AMT), where it overlaps a separate, larger bodied clade of Gehyra and is largely restricted to...

Data from: Isolation rearing does not constrain social plasticity in a family-living lizard

Julia L. Riley, Côme Guidou, Caroline Fryns, Johann Mourier, Stephan T. Leu, Daniel W.A. Noble, Richard W. Byrne, Martin J. Whiting & Daniel W A Noble
An animal’s social environment can be both dynamic and complex. Thus, social species often garner fitness benefits through being plastic in their social behavior. Yet, social plasticity can be constrained by an individual’s experience. We examined the influence of early social environment on social behavior in the tree skink (Egernia striolata), a family-living lizard. In the first phase of this study, we reared juveniles in two different social environments for 1.5 years: either in isolation...

Data from: Trilobite evolutionary rates constrain the duration of the Cambrian explosion

John R. Paterson, Gregory D. Edgecombe & Michael S. Y. Lee
Trilobites are often considered exemplary for understanding the Cambrian explosion of animal life, due to their unsurpassed diversity and abundance. These biomineralized arthropods appear abruptly in the fossil record with an established diversity, phylogenetic disparity, and provincialism at the beginning of Cambrian Series 2 (~521 Ma), suggesting a protracted but cryptic earlier history that possibly extends into the Precambrian. However, recent analyses indicate elevated rates of phenotypic and genomic evolution for arthropods during the early...

Data from: Specific MHC class I supertype associated with parasite infection and colour morph in a wild lizard population

Jessica D. Hacking, Devi Stuart-Fox, Stephanie S. Godfrey & Michael G. Gardner
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a large gene family that plays a central role in the immune system of all jawed vertebrates. Non-avian reptiles are under-represented within the MHC literature and little is understood regarding the mechanisms maintaining MHC diversity in this vertebrate group. Here, we examined the relative roles of parasite-mediated selection and sexual selection in maintaining MHC class I diversity of a colour polymorphic lizard. We discovered evidence for parasite-mediated selection acting...

Data from: Evolution of vertebrate postcranial complexity: axial skeleton regionalization and paired appendages in a Devonian jawless fish

Marion Chevrinais, Zerina Johanson, Kate Trinajstic, John Long, Catherine Morel, Claude B. Renaud & Richard Cloutier
One of the major events in vertebrate evolution involves the transition from jawless (agnathan) to jawed (gnathostome) vertebrates, including a variety of cranial and postcranial innovations. It has long been assumed that characters such as the pelvic girdles and fins, male intromittent organs independent from the pelvic girdles, as well as a regionalized axial skeleton first appeared in various basal gnathostome groups if not at the origin of gnathostomes. Here we describe the first occurrence...

Data from: Palaeoecological inferences for the fossil Australian snakes Yurlunggur and Wonambi (Serpentes, Madtsoiidae)

Alessandro Palci, Mark N. Hutchinson, Michael W. Caldwell, John D. Scanlon, Michael S.Y. Lee & Michael S. Y. Lee
Madtsoiids are among the most basal snakes, with a fossil record dating back to the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian). Most representatives went extinct by the end of the Eocene, but some survived in Australia until the late Cenozoic. Yurlunggur and Wonambi are two of these late forms, and also the best-known madtsoiids to date. A better understanding of the anatomy and palaeoecology of these taxa may shed light on the evolution and extinction of this poorly...

Data from: A novel approach to determining dynamic nitrogen thresholds for seagrass conservation

Milena B. Fernandes, Jos Van Gils, Paul L. A. Erftemeijer, Rob Daly, Dennis Gonzalez & Karen Rouse
1. Seagrass decline is often related to eutrophication, with sudden and drastic losses attributed to tipping points in nutrient loads. The identification of these threshold loads is an important step in the sustainable management of nutrient discharges. 2. In this study, a novel methodological approach is presented to simulate the spatial and temporal dynamics of coastal nitrogen loads, and its relationship to seagrass loss. The analysis allows the identification of nitrogen thresholds associated with the...

Data from: Previous exposure to myxomatosis reduces survival of European rabbits during outbreaks of rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Louise K. Barnett, Thomas A. A. Prowse, David E Peacock, Gregory J Mutze, Ron G. Sinclair, John Kovaliski, Brian D. Cooke & Corey J. A. Bradshaw
1. Exploiting disease and parasite synergies could increase the efficacy of biological control of invasive species. In Australia, two viruses were introduced to control European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus — myxoma virus in 1950, and rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus in 1995. While these biological controls caused initial declines of > 95% in affected populations, today rabbits remain a problem in many areas, despite recurring outbreaks of both diseases. 2. We used eighteen years of capture-mark-recapture, dead...

Data from: A coupled soil water balance model for simulating depression-focused groundwater recharge

Saskia L. Noorduijn, Masaki Hayashi, Getachew A. Mohammed & Aaron A. Mohammed
In arid and semi-arid environments focussed infiltration of rain and snowmelt water under topographic depressions is an important mechanism of groundwater recharge. Quantifying the aggregated recharge from numerous small depressions is a major challenge in water resource management. Building on field-based investigations into the surface water-groundwater interaction of individual depressions and their catchments (i.e. uplands) in the Canadian Prairies, we have developed a simple water balance model to simulate groundwater recharge considering the hydrological coupling...

Data from: Neurocranial anatomy of an enigmatic Early Devonian fish sheds light on early osteichthyan evolution

Alice M. Clement, Benedict King, Sam Giles, Brian Choo, Per Ahlberg, Gavin C. Young, John A. Long & Per E Ahlberg
The skull of ‘Ligulalepis’ from the Early Devonian of Australia (AM-F101607) has significantly expanded our knowledge of early osteichthyan anatomy, but its phylogenetic position has remained uncertain. We herein describe a second skull of ‘Ligulalepis’ and present micro-CT data on both specimens to reveal novel anatomical features, including cranial endocasts. Several features previously considered to link ‘Ligulalepis’ with actinopterygians are now considered generalized osteichthyan characters or of uncertain polarity. The presence of a lateral cranial...

Data from: Electroreception in early vertebrates: survey, evidence and new information

Benedict King, Yuzhi Hu & John A. Long
Electroreception is widespread in living vertebrates, and is often considered a primitive vertebrate character. However, the early evolution of electroreception remains unclear. A variety of structures in early vertebrate fossils have been put forward as potential electroreceptors, but these need to be reassessed in light of the now substantial literature on electroreceptors in living vertebrates. Here we review the evidence for all putative electroreceptors in early vertebrates, and provide new information from CT scans. In...

Data from: Phylogenomic history of enigmatic pygmy perches: implications for biogeography, taxonomy and conservation

Sean J. Buckley, Fabricius C.B. Maia, Catherine R.M. Attard, Chris J. Brauer, Jonathan Sandoval-Castillo, Ryan Lodge, Peter J. Unmack, Luciano B. Beheregaray, Catherine R. M. Attard & Fabricius M. C. B. Domingos
Pygmy perches (Percichthyidae) are a group of poorly dispersing freshwater fishes that have a puzzling biogeographical disjunction across southern Australia. Current understanding of pygmy perch phylogenetic relationships suggests past east-west migrations across a vast expanse of now arid habitat in central southern Australia, a region lacking contemporary rivers. Pygmy perches also represent a threatened group with confusing taxonomy and potentially cryptic species diversity. Here, we present the first study of the evolutionary history of pygmy...

Data from: Isolation by environment in the highly mobile olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) in the eastern Pacific

Clara J. Rodriguez-Zarate, Jonathan Sandoval-Castillo, Erik Van Sebille, Robert G. Keane, Axayácatl Rocha-Olivares, José Urteaga & Luciano B. Beheregaray
Spatial and temporal scales at which processes modulate genetic diversity over the landscape are usually overlooked, impacting the design of conservation management practices for widely distributed species. We examine processes shaping population divergence in highly mobile species by re-assessing the case of panmixia in the iconic olive ridley turtle from the eastern Pacific. We implemented a biophysical model of connectivity and a seascape genetic analysis based on nuclear DNA variation of 634 samples collected from...

Data from: Avian predation intensity as a driver of clinal variation in colour morph frequency

Genevieve Matthews, Celine T. Goulet, Kaspar Delhey, Zak S. Atkins, Geoffrey M. While, Michael G. Gardner & David G. Chapple
1) Phenotypic variation provides the framework for natural selection to work upon, enabling adaptive evolution. One of the most discernible manifestations of phenotypic variability is colour variation. When this variation is discrete, genetically-based colour pattern morphs occur simultaneously within a population. 2) Why and how colour polymorphisms are maintained is an evolutionary puzzle. Several evolutionary drivers have been hypothesized as influencing clinal patterns of morph frequency, with spatial variation in climate and predation being considered...

Data from: Fat in the leg: function of the expanded hind leg in gasteruptiid wasps (Hymenoptera: Gasteruptiidae)

István Mikó, Sarthok Rasique Rahman, Salvatore S. Anzaldo, Thomas Van De Kamp, Ben A. Parslow, Nikolai J. Tatarnic, Maxwell T. Wetherington, Julie Anderson, Rudolf J. Schilder, Jonah M. Ulmer, Andrew R. Deans & Heather M. Hines
Among some of the most unusual traits of the gasteruptiid wasps is their unique hovering flight and the expansion of their hind tibiae. Tibial expansions in female parasitoid hymenopterans often involve an enlarged sensory structure for vibration detection, the subgenual organ, thus enabling refined substrate-borne detection of concealed hosts. In the present paper, we utilize a combination of microscopy, chemical analysis, gene expression, and behavior to explore the function of the expanded hind tibia of...

Data from: New information on Brindabellaspis stensioi Young, 1980, highlights morphological disparity in Early Devonian placoderms

Benedict King, Gavin C. Young & John A. Long
Acid prepared specimens of the placoderm Brindabellaspis stensioi (Early Devonian of New South Wales, Australia) revealed placoderm endocranial anatomy in unprecedented detail. Brindabellaspis has become a key taxon in discussions of early gnathostome phylogeny, and the question of placoderm monophyly versus paraphyly. The anterior orientation of the facial nerve and related hyoid arch structures in this taxon resemble fossil osteostracans (jawless vertebrates) rather than other early gnathostomes. New specimens of Brindabellaspis now reveal the previously...

Data from: A new fossil marine lizard with soft tissues from the Late Cretaceous of Southern Italy

Ilaria Paparella, Alessandro Palci, Umberto Nicosia & Michael W. Caldwell
A new marine lizard showing exceptional soft tissue preservation was found in Late Cretaceous deposits of the Apulian Platform (Puglia, Italy). Primitivus manduriensis gen. et sp. nov. is not only the first evidence of the presence of dolichosaurs in a Southern Italian Carbonate Platform, filling a paleogeographic gap in the Mediterranean Tethys, but also extends the range of this group to the upper Campanian – lower Maastrichtian. Our parsimony analysis recover a monophyletic non-ophidian pythonomorph...

Data from: Selection outweighs drift at a fine scale: lack of MHC differentiation within a family living lizard across geographically close but disconnected rocky outcrops

Sarah K. Pearson, C. Michael Bull & Michael G. Gardner
The highly polymorphic genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are involved in disease resistance, mate choice, and kin recognition. Therefore, they are widely used markers for investigating adaptive variation. Although selection is the key driver, gene flow and genetic drift also influence adaptive genetic variation, sometimes in opposing ways and with consequences for adaptive potential. To further understand the processes that generate MHC variation, it is helpful to compare variation at the MHC with...

Data from: On the roles of landscape heterogeneity and environmental variation in determining population genomic structure in a dendritic system

Chris J. Brauer, Peter J. Unmack, Steve Smith, Louis Bernatchez & Luciano B. Beheregaray
Dispersal and natural selection are key evolutionary processes shaping the distribution of phenotypic and genetic diversity. For species inhabiting complex spatial environments however, it is unclear how the balance between gene flow and selection may be influenced by landscape heterogeneity and environmental variation. Here we evaluated the effects of dendritic landscape structure and the selective forces of hydroclimatic variation on population genomic parameters for the Murray River rainbowfish, Melanotaenia fluviatilis across the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia....

Data from: A new actinopterygian from the Late Devonian Gogo Formation, Western Australia

Brian Choo, Jing Lu, Sam Giles, Kate Trinajstic & John A. Long
The study of early actinopterygians (ray-finned fishes) from the Devonian has been hampered by imperfect preservation in the majority of taxa. The Late Devonian (early Frasnian) Gogo Formation of north-western Western Australia is notable in producing complete fossil actinopterygians with exceptional three-dimensional preservation of both the dermal and endoskeletal anatomy. Four taxa have been described and have proved invaluable in understanding the anatomy of early representatives of this clade. Here, we present a fifth Gogo...

Data from: Spatiotemporal use predicts social partitioning of bottlenose dolphins with strong home range overlap

Rodrigo C. Genoves, Pedro F. Fruet, Juliana C. Di Tullio, Luciana M. Möller & Eduardo R. Secchi
Ranging behaviour and temporal patterns of individuals are known to be fundamental sources of variation in social networks. Spatiotemporal dynamics can both provide and inhibit opportunities for individuals to associate, and should therefore be considered in social analysis. This study investigated the social structure of a Lahille’s bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus gephyreus) population, which shows different spatiotemporal patterns of use and gregariousness between individuals. For this we constructed an initial social network using association indices...

Registration Year

  • 2018

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Flinders University
  • Australian National University
  • South Australian Museum
  • Australian Museum
  • UNSW Sydney
  • University of Canberra
  • University of Alberta
  • Curtin University
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Adelaide