220 Works

Systematic revision of the arboreal Neotropical ‘Thorellii’ clade of Centruroides Marx, 1890 bark scorpions (Buthidae c.l. Koch, 1837) with descriptions of six new species

Aaron Goodman, Lorenzo Prendini, Oscar Francke & Lauren Esposito
The arboreal Neotropical ‘thorellii’ clade of Centruroides Marx, 1890 bark scorpions (Buthidae C.L. Koch, 1837) is revised, using a novel approach to species delimitation. A phylogenetic analysis, based on 112 morphological characters and 1078 aligned DNA nucleotides from the mitochondrial Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit I (COI) gene, provided the framework for placing singletons from geographically disparate localities (and often with suboptimal preservation) using COI minibarcodes, thereby enlarging the taxon sample for diagnosis and delimitation of...

Data from: Episodic radiations in the fly tree of life

Brian M. Wiegmann, Michelle D. Trautwein, Isaac S. Winkler, Norman B. Barr, Jung-Wook Kim, Christine Lambkin, Matthew A. Bertone, Brian K. Cassel, Keith M. Bayless, Alysha M. Heimberg, Benjamin M. Wheeler, Kevin J. Peterson, Thomas Pape, Bradley J. Sinclair, Jeffrey H. Skevington, Vladimir Blagoderov, Jason Caravas, Sujatha Narayanan Kutty, Urs Schmidt-Ott, Gail E. Kampmeier, F. Christian Thompson, David A. Grimaldi, Andrew T. Beckenbach, Gregory W. Courtney, Markus Friedrich … & J.-W. Kim
Flies are one of four superradiations of insects (along with beetles, wasps, and moths) that account for the majority of animal life on Earth. Diptera includes species known for their ubiquity (Musca domestica house fly), their role as pests (Anopheles gambiae malaria mosquito), and their value as model organisms across the biological sciences (Drosophila melanogaster). A resolved phylogeny for flies provides a framework for genomic, developmental, and evolutionary studies by facilitating comparisons across model organisms,...

Data from: Early evolutionary trends in ammonoid embryonic development

Kenneth De Baets, Christian Klug, Dieter Korn & Neil H. Landman
During the Devonian Nekton Revolution, ammonoids show a progressive coiling of their shell just like many other pelagic mollusk groups. These now extinct, externally shelled cephalopods derived from bactritoid cephalopods with a straight shell in the Early Devonian. During the Devonian, evolutionary trends toward tighter coiling and a size reduction occurred in ammonoid embryonic shells. In at least three lineages, descendants with a closed umbilicus evolved convergently from forms with an opening in the first...

Data from: Ventilatory mechanics from maniraptoran theropods to extant birds

Peter G. Tickle, Mark A. Norell & Jonathan R. Codd
Shared behavioural, morphological and physiological characteristics are indicative of the evolution of extant birds from non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs. One such shared character is the presence of uncinate processes; respiratory structures in extant birds. Recent research has suggested a respiratory role for these processes found in oviraptorid and dromaeosaurid dinosaurs. By measuring the geometry of fossil rib cage morphology we demonstrate that the mechanical advantage, conferred by uncinate processes, for movements of the ribs in the...

Data from: Phylotranscriptomic analysis uncovers a wealth of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases variants in echinoderms

Ronald M. Clouse, Gregorio V. Linchangco, Alexander M. Kerr, Robert W. Reid & Daniel A. Janies
Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) help regulate the extracellular matrix (ECM) in animals, mostly by inhibiting matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). They are important activators of mutable collagenous tissue (MCT), which have been extensively studied in echinoderms, and the four TIMP copies in humans have been studied for their role in cancer. To understand the evolution of TIMPs, we combined 405 TIMPs from an echinoderm transcriptome dataset built from 41 specimens representing all five classes of echinoderms...

Data from: Description of a soft-bodied invertebrate with microcomputed tomography and revision of the genus Chtonobdella (Hirudinea: Haemadipsidae)

Michael Tessler, Amalie Barrio, Elizabeth Borda, Rebecca Rood-Goldman, Morgan Hill & Mark E. Siddall
Two-jawed (duognathous) terrestrial leeches in the Haemadipsidae are major pests across their wide geographic range, represented by numerous endemic species in Australia and across many islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. However, haemadipsid taxonomy, based largely on externally visible characters, remains in conflict with phylogenetic relationships. We capitalize on the power of microcomputed tomography (μCT), allowing for the first description of an extant soft-bodied species – Chtonobdella tanae sp. n. – using this technology....

Data from: Proteroctopus ribeti in coleoid evolution

Isabelle Kruta, Isabelle Rouget, Sylvain Charbonnier, Jérémie Bardin, Vincent Fernandez, Damien Germain, Arnaud Brayard & Neil Landman
Palaeontological data are key elements for inferring ancestral character states and the assembly of character complexes, but cephalopod fossils preserving soft tissues are very rare. The exceptionally well-preserved, unique specimen of Jurassic Proteroctopus ribeti Fischer & Riou from the Lagerstätte of La-Voulte-sur-Rhône (c. 165 Ma, France) is one of the few fossil octopod related taxa, but is rarely considered in evolutionary studies. In this paper, we used synchrotron microtomography to reappraise its external characters and...

Data from: How well does a part represent the whole? A comparison of cranidial shape evolution with exoskeletal character evolution in the trilobite family Pterocephaliidae

Melanie Jane Hopkins
For taphonomic and practical reasons, our understanding of morphological evolution within and among species is based primarily on measurements taken from one or a few morphological traits. However, patterns can be highly dependent on trait choice, making it difficult to draw conclusions about evolution of species or clades as a whole. In this paper, I test whether patterns of evolutionary change in the shape of a part are coincident with patterns of evolutionary change based...

Data from: Fifty thousand years of arctic vegetation and megafaunal diet

Eske Willerslev, John Davison, Mari Moora, Martin Zobel, Eric Coissac, Mary E. Edwards, Eline D. Lorenzen, Mette Vestergård, Galina Gussarova, James Haile, Joseph Craine, Gaddy Bergmann, Ludovic Gielly, Sanne Boessenkool, Laura S. Epp, Peter B. Pearman, Rachid Cheddadi, David Murray, Karri Anne Bråthen, Nigel Yoccoz, Heather Binney, Corinne Cruaud, Patrick Wincker, Tomasz Goslar, Inger Greve Alsos … & Pierre Taberlet
Although it is generally agreed that the arctic flora is among the youngest and least diverse on Earth, the processes that shaped it are poorly understood. Here we present 50 thousand years (kyr) of arctic vegetation history, derived from the first large-scale ancient DNA metabarcoding study of circumpolar plant diversity. For this interval we additionally explore nematode diversity as a proxy for modelling vegetation cover and soil quality, and diets of herbivorous megafaunal mammals, many...

Data from: The hatching mechanism of 130-million-year-old insects: an association of neonates, egg shells and egg bursters in Lebanese amber

Ricardo Pérez-De La Fuente, Michael S. Engel, Dany Azar & Enrique Peñalver
Hatching is a pivotal moment in the life of most animals. Diverse chemical, behavioural and mechanical methods have evolved in metazoans to break the egg membranes. Among them, many arthropod and vertebrate embryos hatch using ephemeral, frequently convergent structures known as egg bursters. However, the evolutionary processes by which hatching mechanisms and related embryonic structures became established in deep time are poorly understood due to a nearly complete absence from the fossil record. Herein we...

Data from: Population structure of a widespread bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) in an island system

Kelly A. Speer, Brandi Jo Petronio, Nancy B. Simmons, Rebecca Richey, Kristin Magrini, J. Angel Soto-Centeno & David L. Reed
Dispersal is a driving factor in the creation and maintenance of biodiversity, yet little is known about the effects of habitat variation and geography on dispersal and population connectivity in most mammalian groups. Bats of the family Molossidae are fast-flying mammals thought to have potentially high dispersal ability, and recent studies have indicated gene flow across hundreds of kilometers in continental North American populations of the Brazilian free-tailed bat, Tadarida brasiliensis. We examined the population...

Data from: Disentangling the genetic effects of refugial isolation and range expansion in a trans-continentally distributed species

Brendan N. Reid, Jamie M. Kass, Seth Wollney, Evelyn L. Jensen, Michael A. Russello, Ella M. Viola, Jenna Pantophlet, John B. Iverson, Marcus Z. Peery, Christopher J. Raxworthy & Eugenia Naro-Maciel
In wide-ranging taxa with historically dynamic ranges, past allopatric isolation and range expansion can both influence the current structure of genetic diversity. Considering alternate historical scenarios involving expansion from either a single refugium or from multiple refugia can be useful in differentiating the effects of isolation and expansion. Here, we examined patterns of genetic variability in the trans-continentally distributed painted turtle (Chrysemys picta). We utilized an existing phylogeographic dataset for the mitochondrial control region and...

Data from: Challenging the inbreeding hypothesis in a eusocial mammal: population genetics of the naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber.

Colleen M. Ingram, Nicholas J. Troendle, Clare A. Gill, Stanton Braude & Rodney L. Honeycutt
The role of genetic relatedness in the evolution of eusociality has been the topic of much debate, especially when contrasting eusocial insects with vertebrates displaying reproductive altruism. The naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber, was the first described eusocial mammal. Although this discovery was based on an ecological constraints model of eusocial evolution, early genetic studies reported high levels of relatedness in naked mole-rats, providing a compelling argument that low dispersal rates and consanguineous mating (inbreeding as...

Data from: Aerodynamic reconstruction of the primitive fossil bat Onychonycteris finneyi (Mammalia: Chiroptera)

Lucila I. Amador, Nancy B. Simmons & Norberto P. Giannini
Bats are the only mammals capable of powered flight. One of the oldest bats known from a complete skeleton is Onychonycteris finneyi from the Early Eocene (Green River Formation, Wyoming, 52.5 mya). Estimated to weigh ~40 g, Onychonycteris exhibits the most primitive combination of characters thus far known for bats. Here we reconstructed the aerofoil of the two known specimens, calculated basic aerodynamic variables, and compared them with those of extant bats and gliding mammals....

Data from: Diversification rates have no effect on the convergent evolution of foraging strategies in the most speciose genus of bats, Myotis

Ariadna E Morales, Manuel Ruedi, Kathryn Field & Bryan C Carstens
Adaptive radiations are defined as rapid diversification with phenotypic innovation led by colonization to new environments. Notably, adaptive radiations can occur in parallel when habitats with similar selective pressures are accessible promoting convergent adaptions. While convergent evolution appears to be a common process, it is unclear what are the main drivers leading the reappearance of morphologies or ecological roles. We explore this question in Myotis bats, the only Chiropteran genus with a worldwide distribution. Three...

Data For: The developing bird pelvis passes through ancestral Archosaurian and Dinosaurian conditions

Christopher Griffin, João Botelho, Michael Hanson, Matteo Fabbri, Daniel Smith-Paredes, Ryan Carney, Mark Norell, Shiro Egawa, Stephen Gatesy, Timothy Rowe, Ruth Elsey, Sterling Nesbitt & Bhart-Anjan Bhullar
Living birds (Aves) have bodies dramatically modified from the ancestral reptilian condition. The avian pelvis in particular experienced dramatic changes during the transition from early archosaurs to living birds. This stepwise transformation is well documented by an excellent fossil record; however, the ontogenetic alterations that underly it are less well-understood. We used embryological imaging techniques to examine the morphogenesis of avian pelvic tissues in three dimensions, allowing direct comparison with the fossil record. Many ancestral...

CT slices of three Protoceratopsian skulls and example slices of other Gobi Desert vertebrates

Congyu Yu, Fangbo Qin, Yin Li, Zichuan Qin & Mark Norell
This is a image dataset for deep learning studies. The main dataset comprises labeled CT slices from 3 protoceratopsian dinosaur skulls discovered from the Gobi Desert, Mongolia. The fossil specimens are now in the Division of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, USA. Inside the folders named after specimen number (i.e. IGM100-1021), there are six sub-folders comprising labeled or unlabled CT slice images of the specimen from three directions: axial, coronal, and...

Phylogeography of the tepui brush finch, Atlapetes personatus (Passeriformes: Passerellidae): Extensive differentiation on the sky islands of the Venezuelan Pantepui

George Barrowclough, Bartek Jablonski, Jonas Lai & Jeff Groth
The biogeography and genetic structure of species endemic to the high elevation sky islands (tepuis) of the Guiana Shield in eastern and southern Venezuela and adjacent areas of Brazil and Guyana are poorly known. We investigated the phylogeography and population structure of the tepui brush finch (Atlapetes personatus) as an exemplar of that biota. Mitochondrial DNA sequences revealed three monophyletic clades that correspond to major morphological subspecies groups occurring in eastern, southern, and northwestern regions...

Geographic and temporal morphological stasis in the latest Cretaceous ammonoid Discoscaphites iris from the U.S. Gulf and Atlantic Coastal Plains

James Witts, Corinne Myers, Matthew Garb, Kayla Irizarry, Ekaterina Larina, Anastasia Rashkova & Neil Landman
We examine temporal and spatial variation in morphology of the ammonoid cephalopod Discoscaphites iris using a large dataset from multiple localities in the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of the United States Gulf and Atlantic Coastal Plains, spanning a distance of 2000 km along the paleoshoreline. Our results suggest that the fossil record of D. iris is consistent with no within species net accumulation of phyletic evolutionary change across morphological traits or the lifetime of this species....

Incorporating hierarchical characters into phylogenetic analysis

Katherine St. John & Melanie Hopkins
Popular optimality criteria for phylogenetic trees focus on sequences of characters that are applicable to all the taxa. As studies grow in breadth, it can be the case that some characters are applicable for a portion of the taxa and inapplicable for others. Past work has explored the limitations of treating inapplicable characters as missing data, noting that this strategy may favor trees where interval nodes are assigned impossible states, where the arrangement of taxa...

Data from: Biogeography of curimatid fishes reveals multiple lowland-upland river transitions and differential diversification in the Neotropics (Teleostei, Curimatidae)

Bruno F. Melo, James S. Albert, Fernando C. P. Dagosta & Victor A. Tagliacollo
The Neotropics harbors a megadiverse ichthyofauna comprising over 6300 species with approximately 80% in just three taxonomic orders within the clade Characiphysi. This highly diverse group has evolved in tropical South America over tens to hundreds of millions of years influenced mostly by re‐arrangements of river drainages in lowland and upland systems. In this study, we investigate patterns of spatial diversification in Neotropical freshwater fishes in the family Curimatidae, a species‐rich clade of the order...

Phylogenomic resolution of sea spider diversification through integration of multiple data classes

Jesus Ballesteros, Emily Setton, Carlos Santibáñez-López, Claudia Arango, Georg Brenneis, Saskia Brix, Kevin Corbett, Esperanza Cano-Sánchez, Merai Dandouch, Geoffrey Dilly, Marc Eleaume, Guilherme Gainett, Cyril Gallut, Sean McAtee, Lauren McIntyre, Randy Moran, Pablo López-González, Gerhard Scholtz, Clay Williamson, Arthur Woods, Jakob Zehms, Ward Wheeler & Prashant Sharma
Despite significant advances in invertebrate phylogenomics over the past decade, the higher-level phylogeny of Pycnogonida (sea spiders) remains elusive. Due to the inaccessibility of some small-bodied lineages, few phylogenetic studies have sampled all sea spider families. Previous efforts based on a handful of genes have yielded unstable tree topologies. Here, we inferred the relationships of 89 sea spider species using targeted capture of the mitochondrial genome, 56 conserved exons, 101 ultraconserved elements, and three nuclear...

Data from: Carnivorous mammals from the middle Eocene Washakie Formation, Wyoming, USA, and their diversity trajectory in a post-warming world

Susumu Tomiya, Shawn Zack, Michelle Spaulding & John J. Flynn
The middle Eocene Washakie Formation of Wyoming, USA, provides a rare window, within a single depositional basin, into the faunal transition that followed the early Eocene warming events. Based on extensive examination, we report a minimum of 27 species of carnivorous mammals from this formation, more than doubling the previous taxic count. Included in this revised list are a new species of carnivoraform, Neovulpavus mccarrolli, and up to ten other possibly new taxa. Our cladistic...

Ecological drivers of carnivoran body shape evolution

Chris Law
Morphological diversity is often attributed as adaptations to distinct ecologies. Although biologists have long hypothesized that distinct ecologies drive the evolution of body shape, these relationships are rarely tested across macroevolutionary scales in mammals. Here, I tested hypotheses that locomotor, hunting, and dietary ecologies influenced body shape evolution in carnivorans, a morphologically and ecologically diverse clade of mammals. I found that adaptive models with ecological trait regimes were poor predictors of carnivoran body shape and...

Ecological divergence and the history of gene flow in the Nearctic milksnakes (Lampropeltis triangulum complex)

Frank Burbrink, Justin Bernstein, Arianna Kuhn, Marcelo Gehara & Sara Ruane
Many phylogeographic studies on species with large ranges have found genetic-geographic structure associated with changes in habitat and physical barriers to gene flow. These studies may conclude absence of population structure, lineage structure that indicates unique species have been discovered, or suggest more research is needed prior to delimitation. Comparative risks of delimiting species incorrectly or failing to delimit species are usually not weighed and a more detailed return to these problems with more data...

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