223 Works

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: 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: Genomic divergence in allopatric Northern Cardinals of the North American warm deserts is linked to behavioral differentiation

Kaiya L. Provost, & Brian T Smith
Biogeographic barriers are thought to be important in initiating speciation through geographic isolation, but they rarely indiscriminately and completely reduce gene flow across the entire community. Understanding which species’ attributes regulate a barrier could help elucidate how speciation is initiated and isolation maintained. Here, we investigated the association of behavioral isolation on population differentiation in Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) distributed across the Cochise Filter Barrier, a region of transitional habitat which separates the Sonoran and...

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...

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...

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 from: Morphological characters can strongly influence early animal relationships inferred from phylogenomic data sets

Johannes S. Neumann, Rob Desalle, Apurva Narechania, Bernd Schierwater & Michael Tessler
There are considerable phylogenetic incongruencies between morphological and phylogenomic data for the deep evolution of animals. This has contributed to a heated debate over the earliest-branching lineage of the animal kingdom: The sister to all other Metazoa (SOM). Here we use published phylogenomic datasets (∼45,000-400,000 characters in size with ∼15-100 taxa) that focus on early metazoan phylogeny to evaluate the impact of incorporating morphological datasets (∼15-275 characters). We additionally use small exemplar datasets to quantify...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Phylogenetic results of 6 morphological character matrices

Congyu Yu
The construction of morphological character matrices is central to paleontological systematic study, which extracts paleontological information from fossils. Although the word information has been repeatedly mentioned in a wide array of paleontological systematic studies, its meaning has rarely been clarified and there has not been a standard to measure paleontological information due to the incompleteness of fossils, difficulty of recognizing homologous and homoplastic structures, etc. Here, based on information theory, we show the deep connections...

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....

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...

Dataset for: Smith et al., Phylogenomic analysis of the parrots of the world distinguishes artifactual from biological sources of gene tree discordance

Brian Tilston Smith
Gene tree discordance is expected in phylogenomic trees and biological processes are often invoked to explain it. However, heterogeneous levels of phylogenetic signal among individuals within datasets may cause artifactual sources of topological discordance. We examined how the information content in tips and subclades impacts topological discordance in the parrots (Order: Psittaciformes), a diverse and highly threatened clade of nearly 400 species. Using ultraconserved elements from 96% of the clade's species-level diversity, we estimated concatenated...

Data from: The evolution of cranial form and function in theropod dinosaurs: insights from geometric morphometrics

Stephen L. Brusatte, Manabu Sakamoto, Shaena Montanari & William E. H. Harcourt Smith
Theropod dinosaurs, an iconic clade of fossil species including Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor, developed a great diversity of body size, skull form, and feeding habits over their 160+ million year evolutionary history. Here we utilise geometric morphometrics to study broad patterns in theropod skull shape variation, and compare the distribution of taxa in cranial morphospace (form) to both phylogeny and quantitative metrics of biting behaviour (function). We find that theropod skulls primarily differ in relative anteroposterior...

Data from: Phylogenetic signal in mitochondrial and nuclear markers in sea anemones (Cnidaria, Actiniaria)

Marymegan Daly, Luciana C. Gusmão, Abigail J. Reft & Estefanía Rodríguez
The mitochondrial genome of basal animals is generally more slowly evolving than that of bilaterians. This difference in rate complicates the study of relationships among members of these lineages and the discovery of cryptic species or the testing of morphological species concepts within them. We explore the properties of mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal genes in the cnidarian order Actiniaria, using both an ordinal-scale and familyfamilial-scale sample of taxa. Although the markers do not show significant...

Data from: Molecular phylogenetics of Gobioidei and phylogenetic placement of European gobies

Ainhoa Agorreta, Diego San Mauro, Ulrich Schliewen, James L. Van Tassell, Marcelo Kovačić, Rafael Zardoya & Lukas Rüber
Gobioidei is one of the largest suborders of teleost fishes, with nearly 2000 extant species currently recognized. They have a worldwide distribution and show a spectacular variety in morphology, ecology, and behavior. Despite their importance, phylogenetic relationships among many groups of gobioids (including some of the major lineages) still remain poorly understood. In this study, we analyze sequence data of five molecular markers (two mitochondrial and three nuclear) averaging 6000 bp for 222 species of...

Data from: Caves as microrefugia: Pleistocene phylogeography of the troglophilic North American scorpion Pseudouroctonus reddelli

Robert W. Bryson, Lorenzo Prendini, Warren E. Savary & Peter B. Pearman
Background: Survival in microrefugia represents an important paradigm in phylogeography for explaining rapid postglacial re-colonization by species in temperate regions. Microrefugia may allow populations to persist in areas where the climatic conditions on the surface have become unfavourable. Caves generally contain stable microclimates and may represent microrefugia for species capable of exploiting both cave and surface habitats (troglophiles). We examine the phylogeography of the troglophilic North American vaejovid scorpion Pseudouroctonus reddelli using 1,993 base pairs...

Data from: A second species of the family Allophrynidae (Amphibia: Anura)

Santiago Castroviejo-Fisher, Pedro E. Pérez-Peña, Jose M. Padial & Juan M. Guayasamin
We describe Allophryne resplendens, a new species from two localities in the Amazon rainforest of Loreto, Peru, of the family Allophrynidae, which was monotypic until this discovery. The new species can be readily differentiated from Allophryne ruthveni on the basis of dorsal and ventral coloration both in life and in preservative, transverse processes of presacral II oriented anterolaterally (oriented laterally in A. ruthveni), and 19 nucleotide autapomorphies for 761 base pairs (bp) of the mitochondrial...

Data from: Phylogeny and new taxonomy of the Booted Eagles (Accipitriformes: Aquilinae)

Heather R. L. Lerner, Les Christidis, Anita Gamauf, Carole Griffiths, Elisabeth Haring, Christopher J. Huddleston, Sonia Kabra, Annett Kocum, Meade Krosby, Kirsti Kvaloy, David Mindell, Pamela Rasmussen, Nils Rov, Rachel Wadleigh, Michael Wink & Jan Ove Gjershaug
We present a phylogeny of all booted eagles (38 extant and one extinct species) based on analysis of published sequences from seven loci. We find molecular support for five major clades within the booted eagles: Nisaetus (10 species), Spizaetus (4 species), Clanga (3 species), Hieraaetus (6 species) and Aquila (11 species), requiring generic changes for 14 taxa. Additionally, we recommend that the Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) and the Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malaiensis) remain in their...

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