Data from: On formation-based sampling proxies and why they should not be used to correct the fossil recordAlexander M. Dunhill, Bjarte Hannisdal, Neil Brocklehurst & Michael J. Benton
The fossil record is a unique resource on the history of life, but it is well known to be incomplete. In a series of high-profile papers, a residual modelling technique has been applied to correct the raw palaeodiversity signal for this bias and incompleteness, and the claim is made that the processed time series are more accurate than the raw data. We apply empirical and simulation approaches to test for correlation and directionality of any...
Data from: The cranial morphology, phylogenetic position and biogeography of the upper Permian dicynodont Compsodon helmoedi van Hoepen (Therapsida, Anomodontia)Kenneth D. Angielczyk & Christian F. Kammerer
Compsodon helmoedi is an obscure dicynodont originally described based on a single specimen from the upper Permian of the Karoo Basin. The discovery of three new specimens of Compsodon from the Luangwa Basin of Zambia and two additional specimens from South African museum collections facilitates a reassessment of its cranial morphology and phylogenetic position. Compsodon is diagnosed by an autapomorphic secondary palate morphology: medial depression at anterior end of premaxillary secondary palate; medial anterior palatal...
Data from: Selective regimes and functional anatomy in the mustelid forelimb: diversification toward specializations for climbing, digging, and swimmingBrandon M. Kilbourne
Anatomical traits associated with locomotion often exhibit specializations for ecological niche, suggesting that locomotor specializations may constitute selective regimes acting on limb skeletal traits. To test this, I sampled 42 species of Mustelidae, encompassing climbing, digging, and swimming specialists, and determined whether trait variation reflects locomotor specialization by performing a principal components analysis on 14 forelimb traits. In addition to Brownian motion models, three Ornstein–Uhlenbeck models of selective regimes were applied to PC scores describing...
Data from: No ecological opportunity signal on a continental scale? Diversification and life-history evolution of African true toads (Anura: Bufonidae)H. Christoph Liedtke, Hendrik Müller, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Michele Menegon, LeGrand Nono Gonwouo, Michael F. Barej, Václav Gvoždík, Andreas Schmitz, Alan Channing, Peter Nagel & Simon P. Loader
The niche-filling process predicted by the “ecological opportunity” (EO) model is an often-invoked mechanism for generating exceptional diversity in island colonizers. Whether the same process governs lineage accumulation and trait disparity during continental colonization events is less clear. Here, we test this prediction by investigating the rate dynamics and trait evolution of one of Africa's most widespread amphibian colonizers, the true toads (Bufonidae). By reconstructing the most complete molecular phylogeny of African Bufonidae to date,...
Data from: Evaluating mechanisms of diversification in a Guineo-Congolian tropical forest frog using demographic model selectionDaniel M. Portik, Adam D. Leaché, Danielle Rivera, Michael F. Barej, Marius Burger, Mareike Hirschfeld, Mark-Oliver Rödel, David C. Blackburn & Matthew K. Fujita
The accumulation of biodiversity in tropical forests can occur through multiple allopatric and parapatric models of diversification, including forest refugia, riverine barriers and ecological gradients. Considerable debate surrounds the major diversification process, particularly in the West African Lower Guinea forests, which contain a complex geographic arrangement of topographic features and historical refugia. We used genomic data to investigate alternative mechanisms of diversification in the Gaboon forest frog, Scotobleps gabonicus, by first identifying population structure and...
Data from: Developmental dynamics of ecomorphological convergence in a transcontinental lizard radiationChristy A. Hipsley & Johannes Müller
Phenotypic convergence has confounded evolutionary biologists for centuries, explained as adaptations to shared selective pressures, or alternatively, the result of limited developmental pathways. We tested the relative roles of adaptation and constraint in generating convergent cranial morphologies across a large lizard radiation, the Lacertidae, whose members inhabit diverse environments throughout the Old World and display high amounts of homoplasy associated with ecological niche. Using three-dimensional X-ray computed tomography, we quantified cranial shape variation associated with...
Data from: Anatomy and relationships of the South African gorgonopsian Arctops (Therapsida, Theriodontia)Christian F. Kammerer
The gorgonopsian genus Arctops from the late Permian of South Africa is revised and redescribed. The nominal species Arctops kitchingi and Arctops watsoni are found to be junior synonyms of the type species Arctops willistoni. A well-prepared specimen previously referred to Lycaenops angusticeps and additional, previously undescribed specimens are also referred to A. willistoni. The vomerine morphology of Arctops is highly distinctive, supporting previous work highlighting the taxonomic importance of this element. Arctops is restricted...
Data from: Iterative ontogenetic development of ammonoid conch shapes from the Devonian through to the JurassicSonny A. Walton & Dieter Korn
We measured longitudinal growth in conch cross-sections of 177 Devonian to Jurassic ammonoid species to test whether conch ontogenetic development parallels the iterative evolution of pachyconic or globular conch shapes. Ontogenetic trajectories of two cardinal conch parameters, conch width index and umbilical width index, show a few common recurring ontogenetic pathways in terms of the number of ontogenetic phases. The most common, with three phases in the conch width index (decrease–increase–decrease) and umbilical width index...
The origin of the astonishing New Caledonian biota continues to fuel a heated debate among advocates of a Gondwanan relict scenario and defenders of late oceanic dispersal. Here, we study the origin of New Caledonian Trigonopterus flightless weevils using a multimarker molecular phylogeny. We infer two independent clades of species found in the archipelago. Our dating estimates suggest a Late Miocene origin of both clades long after the re-emergence of New Caledonia about 37 Ma....
Data from: Idiosyncratic responses to climate-driven forest fragmentation and marine incursions in reed frogs from Central Africa and the Gulf of Guinea IslandsRayna C. Bell, Juan L. Parra, Gabriel Badjedjea, Michael F. Barej, David C. Blackburn, Marius Burger, Alan Channing, J. Maximilian Dehling, Eli Greenbaum, Václav Gvoždík, Jos Kielgast, Chifundera Kusamba, Stefan Lötters, Patrick J. McLaughlin, Zoltán T. Nagy, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Daniel M. Portik, Bryan L. Stuart, Jeremy VanDerWal, Ange-Ghislain Zassi Boulou & Kelly R. Zamudio
Organismal traits interact with environmental variation to mediate how species respond to shared landscapes. Thus, differences in traits related to dispersal ability or physiological tolerance may result in phylogeographic discordance among co-distributed taxa, even when they are responding to common barriers. We quantified climatic suitability and stability, and phylogeographic divergence within three reed frog species complexes across the Guineo-Congolian forests and Gulf of Guinea archipelago of Central Africa to investigate how they responded to a...
How evolutionary novelties evolve is a major question in evolutionary biology. It is widely accepted that changes in environmental conditions shift the position of selective optima, and advancements in phylogenetic comparative approaches allow the rigorous testing of such correlated transitions. A longstanding question in vertebrate biology has been the evolution of terrestrial life histories in amphibians and here, by investigating African bufonids, we test whether terrestrial modes of reproduction have evolved as adaptations to particular...
Data from: Temporal migration pattern and mating tactics influence size-assortative mating in Rana temporariaCarolin Dittrich, Ariel Rodríguez, Ori Segev, Sanja Drakulić, Heike Feldhaar, Miguel Vences & Mark-Oliver Rödel
Assortative mating is a common pattern in sexually reproducing species, but the mechanisms leading to assortment remain poorly understood. By using the European common frog (Rana temporaria) as a model, we aim to understand the mechanisms leading to size-assortative mating in amphibians. With data from natural populations collected over several years, we first show a consistent pattern of size-assortative mating across our two study populations. We subsequently ask if assortative mating may be explained by...
Acridid grasshoppers (Orthoptera:Acrididae) are widely used model organisms for developmental, evolutionary, and neurobiological research. Although there has been recent influx of orthopteran transcriptomic resources, many use pooled ontogenetic stages obscuring information about changes in gene expression during development. Here we developed a de novo transcriptome spanning 7 stages in the life cycle of the acridid grasshopper Chorthippus biguttulus. Samples from different stages encompassing embryonic development through adults were used for transcriptomic profiling, revealing patterns of...
Museum für Naturkunde13
University of Florida3
University of the Western Cape2
Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research2
University of Basel2
University of Roehampton2
Institute of Vertebrate Biology2
University of Bath1
University of Washington1