18 Works

Data from: Increases in sampling support the southern Gondwanan hypothesis for the origin of dinosaurs

Júlio C. A. Marsola, Gabriel S. Ferreira, Max C. Langer, David J. Button & Richard J. Butler
Dinosaurs were ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems through most of the Mesozoic and are still diversely represented in the modern fauna in the form of birds. Recent efforts to better understand the origins of the group have resulted in the discovery of many new species of early dinosaurs and their closest relatives (dinosauromorphs). In addition, recent re-examinations of early dinosaur phylogeny have highlighted uncertainties regarding the interrelationships of the main dinosaur lineages (Sauropodomorpha, Theropoda and Ornithischia),...

Data from: Evolution of cranial telescoping in echolocating whales (Cetacea: Odontoceti)

Morgan Churchill, Jonathan H. Geisler, Brian L. Beatty & Anjali Goswami
Odontocete (echolocating whale) skulls exhibit extreme posterior displacement and overlapping of facial bones, here referred to as retrograde cranial telescoping. To examine retrograde cranial telescoping across 40 million years of whale evolution, we collected 3D scans of whale skulls spanning odontocete evolution. We used a sliding semilandmark morphometric approach with Procrustes superimposition and PCA to capture and describe the morphological variation present in the facial region, followed by Ancestral Character State Reconstruction (ACSR) and evolutionary...

Data from: Ancient plants with ancient fungi: liverworts associate with early-diverging arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

William R. Rimington, Silvia Pressel, Jeffrey G. Duckett, Katie J. Field, David J. Read & Martin I. Bidartondo
Arbuscular mycorrhizas are widespread in land plants including liverworts, some of the closest living relatives of the first plants to colonise land 500 MYA. Previous investigations reported near-exclusive colonisation of liverworts by the most recently evolved arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, the Glomeraceae, indicating a recent acquisition from flowering plants at odds with the widely-held notion that arbuscular mycorrhizal-like associations in liverworts represent the ancestral symbiotic condition in land plants. We performed an analysis of symbiotic fungi...

Data from: Contrasting genetic structure of sympatric congeneric gastropods: do differences in habitat preference, abundance, and distribution matter?

Edward J.G. Wort, Mark A. Chapman, Stephen John Hawkins, Lucy Henshall, Alfonso Pita, Marc Rius, Suzanne T. Williams & Phillip B. Fenberg
Aim: The relationship of population genetics with the ecology and biogeography of species may be explored by comparing phenotypically similar but ecologically different congeners with overlapping ranges. We compared genetic differentiation between two congeneric rocky intertidal gastropods across a major portion of their sympatric range. We hypothesized that the habitat generalist with high abundance and continuous distribution would exhibit comparatively less genetic differentiation than the habitat specialist with low abundance and a fragmented distribution. Location:...

Data from: Plant controls on Late Quaternary whole ecosystem structure and function

Elizabeth S. Jeffers, Nicki J. Whitehouse, Adrian Lister, Gill Plunkett, Phil Barratt, Emma Smyth, Philip Lamb, Michael W. Dee, Stephen J. Brooks, Katherine J. Willis, Cynthia A. Froyd, Jenny E. Watson & Michael B. Bonsall
Plants and animals influence biomass production and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems; however their relative importance remains unclear. We assessed the extent to which mega-herbivore species controlled plant community composition and nutrient cycling, relative to other factors during and after the Late Quaternary extinction event in Britain and Ireland, when two-thirds of the region’s mega-herbivore species went extinct. Warmer temperatures, plant-soil and plant-plant interactions, and reduced burning contributed to the expansion of woody plants and...

Data from: Molecular palaeontology illuminates the evolution of ecdysozoan vision

James F. Fleming, Reinhardt M. Kristensen, Martin V. Sørensen, Tae-Yoon S. Park, Kazuharu Arakawa, Mark Blaxter, Lorena Rebecchi, Roberto Guidetti, Tom A. Williams, Nicholas W. Roberts, Jakob Vinther & Davide Pisani
Colour vision is known to have arisen only twice – once in Vertebrata and once within the Ecdysozoa, in Arthropoda. However, the evolutionary history of ecdysozoan vision is unclear. At the molecular level, visual pigments, composed of a chromophore and a protein belonging to the opsin family, have different spectral sensitivities and these mediate colour vision. At the morphological level, ecdysozoan vision is conveyed by eyes of variable levels of complexity; from the simple ocelli...

Data from: Time for a rethink: time sub-sampling methods in disparity-through-time analyses

Thomas Guillerme & Natalie Cooper
Disparity-through-time analyses can be used to determine how morphological diversity changes in response to mass extinctions, and to investigate the drivers of morphological change. These analyses are routinely applied to palaeobiological datasets, yet although there is much discussion about how to best calculate disparity, there has been little consideration of how taxa should be sub-sampled through time. Standard practice is to group taxa into discrete time bins, often based on stratigraphic periods. However, this can...

Data from: Microbial-tubeworm associations in a 440 million year old hydrothermal vent community

Magdalena N. Georgieva, Crispin T.S. Little, Russell J. Bailey, Alexander D. Ball, Adrian G. Glover & Crispin T. S. Little
Microorganisms are the chief primary producers within present-day deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystems, and play a fundamental role in shaping the ecology of these environments. However, very little is known about the microbes that occurred within, and structured ancient vent communities. The evolutionary history, diversity, and the nature of interactions between ancient vent microorganisms and hydrothermal vent animals are largely undetermined. The oldest known hydrothermal vent community that includes metazoans is preserved within the Ordovician-early Silurian...

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...

Termite abundance and ecosystem processes in Maliau Basin, 2015-2016

L.A. Ashton, H.M. Griffiths, C.L. Parr, T.A. Evans & P. Eggleton
This dataset consists of invertebrate abundance data and associated ecosystem measurements (Including leaf litter depth and mass, seedlings, soil moisture and nutrients, and rainfall) measured within an area of lowland, old growth dipterocarp rainforest in the Maliau Basin Conservation Area, Sabah, Malaysia between 2015 and 2016. Data were collected during a collaborative project which was included in the NERC Human-modified tropical forest (HMTF) programme.

Data from: Size, weapons and armor as predictors of competitive outcomes in fossil and contemporary marine communities

Lee Hsiang Liow, Trond Reitan, Kjetil Voje, Paul Taylor & Emanuela Di Martino
Inter- and intraspecific competition are usually observed over a few generations but their patterns and consequences are seldom tractable in natural systems over longer timescales relevant to macroevolutionary change. Here, we use win-draw-lose competitive overgrowths for a marine benthic community of encrusting bryozoans that have evolved together in New Zealand for at least 2.3 million years to investigate battles for substrate space, a resource that is limiting for these colonial organisms. Using more than 6000...

Data from: Lepidosaurian diversity in the Mesozoic–Paleogene: the potential roles of sampling biases and environmental drivers

Terri J. Cleary, Roger B.J. Benson, Susan E. Evans, Paul M. Barrett & Roger B. J. Benson
Lepidosauria is a speciose clade with a long evolutionary history, but there have been few attempts to explore its taxon-richness through time. Here we estimate patterns of terrestrial lepidosaur genus diversity for the Triassic–Paleogene (252–23 Ma), and compare observed and sampling-corrected richness curves generated using Shareholder Quorum Subsampling and classical rarefaction. Generalized least-squares regression (GLS) is used to investigate the relationships between richness, sampling and environmental proxies. We found low levels of richness from the...

Data from: The evolutionary history of dogs in the Americas

Máire Ní Leathlobhair, Angela R. Perri, Evan K. Irving-Pease, Kelsey E. Witt, Anna Linderholm, James Haile, Ophelie Lebrasseur, Carly Ameen, Jeffrey Blick, Adam R. Boyko, Selina Brace, Yahaira Nunes Cortes, Susan J. Crockford, Alison Devault, Evangelos A. Dimopoulos, Morley Eldridge, Jacob Enk, Shyam Gopalakrishnan, Kevin Gori, Vaughan Grimes, Eric Guiry, Anders J. Hansen, Ardern Hulme-Beaman, John Johnson, Andrew Kitchen … & Laurent A. F. Frantz
Dogs were present in the Americas prior to the arrival of European colonists, but the origin and fate of these pre-contact dogs are largely unknown. We sequenced 71 mitochondrial and seven nuclear genomes from ancient North American and Siberian dogs spanning ~9,000 years. Our analysis indicates that American dogs were not domesticated from North American wolves. Instead, American dogs form a monophyletic lineage that likely originated in Siberia and dispersed into the Americas alongside people....

Data from: Computer simulations show that Neanderthal facial morphology represents adaptation to cold and high energy demands, but not heavy biting

Stephen Wroe, William C.H. Parr, Justin A. Ledogar, Jason Bourke, Samuel P. Evans, Luca Fiorenza, Stefano Benazzi, Jean-Jacques Hublin, Chris Stringer, Ottmar Kullmer, Michael Curry, Todd C. Rae, Todd R. Yokley & William C. H. Parr
Three adaptive hypotheses have been forwarded to explain the distinctive Neanderthal face: 1) an improved ability to accommodate high anterior bite forces, 2) more effective conditioning of cold and/or dry air, and, 3) adaptation to facilitate greater ventilatory demands. We test these hypotheses using three-dimensional models of Neanderthals, modern humans, and a close outgroup (H. heidelbergensis), applying finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). This is the most comprehensive application of either approach...

Data from: Bryozoan genera Fenestrulina and Microporella no longer confamilial; multi-gene phylogeny supports separation

Russell J S Orr, Andrea Waeschenbach, Emily L. G. Enevoldsen, Jeroen P. Boeve, Marianne N. Haugen, Kjetil L. Voje, Joanne Porter, Kamil Zágoršek, Abigail M. Smith, Dennis P. Gordon & Lee Hsiang Liow
Bryozoans are a moderately diverse, mostly marine phylum with a fossil record extending to the early Ordovician. Compared to other phyla, little is known about their phylogenetic relationships at both lower and higher taxonomic levels. Hence, an effort is being made to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships among bryozoans. Here, we present newly sequenced nuclear and mitochondrial genes for 21 cheilostome bryozoans and compile these with existing orthologous molecular data. Using these data, we focus on...

Data from: Towards accurate species-level metabarcoding of arthropod communities from the tropical forest canopy

Thomas J. Creedy, Wui Shen Ng & Alfried P. Vogler
Metabarcoding of arthropod communities can be used for assessing species diversity in tropical forests but the methodology requires validation for accurate and repeatable species occurrences in complex mixtures. This study investigates how the composition of ecological samples affects the accuracy of species recovery. Starting with field-collected bulk samples from the tropical canopy, the recovery of specimens was tested for subsets of different body sizes and major taxa, by assembling these subsets into increasingly complex composite...

Data from: Global patterns in helminth host specificity: phylogenetic and functional diversity of regional host species pools matter

Konstans Wells, David I. Gibson & Nicholas J. Clark
Host specificity has a major influence on a parasite’s ability to shift between human and animal host species. Yet there is a dearth of quantitative approaches to explore variation in host specificity across biogeographical scales, particularly in response to the varying community compositions of potential hosts. We built a global dataset of intermediate host associations for nine of the world’s most widespread helminth parasites (all of which infect humans). Using hierarchical models, we asked if...

Data from: Independent homoploid hybrid speciation events in the Macaronesian endemic genus Argyranthemum

Oliver W. White, Alfredo Reyes-Betancort, Mark A. Chapman & Mark A. Carine
Well-characterised examples of homoploid hybrid speciation (HHS) are rare in nature yet they offer the potential to study a number of evolutionary processes. In this study we investigate putative homoploid hybrid species in the genus Argyranthemum (Asteraceae), a group of plants endemic to the Macaronesian archipelagos of the North Atlantic Ocean. We specifically address a number of knowledge gaps surrounding the origin(s) of A. sundingii and A. lemsii, which are thought to be derived from...

Registration Year

  • 2018

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Natural History Museum
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Queensland
  • University at Albany, State University of New York
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Oslo
  • University of Leeds
  • University of New England
  • University of Liverpool
  • Swansea University