18 Works

Data from: Multiple lines of evidence indicate ongoing allopatric and parapatric diversification in an Afromontane sunbird (Cinnyris reichenowi)

Jacob C. Cooper, J. Dylan Maddox, Kellie McKague & John M. Bates
Africa’s montane ecosystems are noteworthy not only for their isolation, but for their morphologically similar bird populations that inhabit geographically disparate localities. Many species possess range disjunctions in excess of 2,000 km and appear to represent populations that have been isolated since at least the last Ice Age, including the Northern Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris reichenowi). Recent work on other Afromontane birds has demonstrated substantial phylogeographic structure can exist in phenotypically similar populations, with cryptic species...

Speciation and gene flow in two sympatric small mammals from Madagascar, Microgale fotsifotsy and M. soricoides (Mammalia: Tenrecidae)

Kathryn M Everson, Link E Olson & Steven M Goodman
Madagascar’s shrew tenrecs (Mammalia: Tenrecidae: Microgale, Nesogale) form an excellent system for studying speciation. Most species are endemic to the island’s eastern moist evergreen forest, a region renowned for high levels of biodiversity and a high rate of in situ diversification. We set out to understand the speciation dynamics in a clade of recently described taxa: Microgale fotsifotsy and M. soricoides, which have nearly identical distributions in the moist evergreen forest, and M. nasoloi, which...

Shedding light: a phylotranscriptomic perspective illuminates the origin of photosymbiosis in marine bivalves

Jingchun Li, Sarah Lemer, Lisa Kirkendale, Rudiger Bieler, Colleen Cavanaugh & Gonzalo Giribet
Background: Photosymbiotic associations between metazoan hosts and photosynthetic dinoflagellates are crucial to the trophic and structural integrity of many marine ecosystems, including coral reefs. Although extensive efforts have been devoted to study the short-term ecological interactions between coral hosts and their symbionts, long-term evolutionary dynamics of photosymbiosis in many marine animals are not well understood. Within Bivalvia, the second largest class of mollusks, obligate photosymbiosis is found in two marine lineages: the giant clams (subfamily...

Data from: Montane regions shape patterns of diversification in small mammals and reptiles from Madagascar’s moist evergreen forest

Kathryn Everson, Sharon Jansa, Steven Goodman & Link Olson
Aim Madagascar is renowned for its exceptional species diversity and endemism. The island’s mountainous regions are thought to have played a role in lineage and species diversification, but this has yet to be explored across taxonomic groups and a temporal context has not yet been identified. We tested whether montane regions have promoted population divergence in Madagascar’s vertebrate fauna and, if so, whether these divergence events were contemporaneous. Location Moist evergreen forests of Madagascar. Taxa...

Dietary morphology of two island-endemic murine rodent clades is consistent with persistent, incumbent-imposed competitive interactions

Dakota Rowsey
A lineage colonizing a geographic region with no competitors may exhibit rapid diversification due to greater ecological opportunity. The resultant species diversity of this primary-colonizing (incumbent) clade may limit subsequent lineages’ ability to persist unless these non-incumbent lineages are ecologically distinct. We compare the diversity in diet-related mandibular morphology of two sympatric murid rodent clades endemic to Luzon Island, Philippines—incumbent Phloeomyini and secondary-colonizing Chrotomyini—to the mandibular morphological diversity of Sahul Hydromyini, the sister clade of...

Cassowary gloss and a novel form of structural color in birds

Chad Eliason & Julia Clarke
One of the two lineages of extant birds resulting from its deepest split, Palaeognathae, has been reported not to exhibit structural coloration in feathers, affecting inferences of ancestral coloration mechanisms in extant birds. Structural coloration in facial skin and eggshells have been shown in the lineage, but not feathers. Here, we report the first evidence for two distinct mechanisms of structural color in palaeognath feathers. One extinct volant clade, Lithornithidae, shows evidence of elongate melanin-containing...

Effects of taphonomic deformation on geometric morphometric analysis of fossils: a case study using the dicynodont Diictodon feliceps (Therapsida, Anomodontia)

Christian Kammerer, Michol Deutsch, Jacqueline Lungmus & Kenneth Angielczyk
Taphonomic deformation, the distortion of fossils as a result of geological processes, poses problems for the use of geometric morphometrics in addressing paleobiological questions. Signal from biological variation, such as ontogenetic trends and sexual dimorphism, may be lost if variation from deformation is too high. Here, we investigate the effects of taphonomic deformation on geometric morphometric analyses of the abundant, well known Permian therapsid Diictodon feliceps. Distorted Diictodon crania can be categorized into seven typical...

The diversification and evolution of niche breadth across spatial scales in western North American monkeyflowers

Qin Li
Species show remarkable variation in ecological niche breadth, but the directionality of niche breadth evolution remains a question for niche axes across spatial scales. Testing the association between niche breadth evolution and the process of diversification could shed light on the role of ecology in the formation and maintenance of biodiversity. Here we applied Cladogenetic State change Speciation and Extinction models in western North American monkeyflowers (Mimulus sensu lato), with two states of niche breadth...

Histological dataset for: Osteohistological analyses reveal diverse strategies of theropod dinosaur body-size macroevolution

Thomas Cullen, Juan Canale, Sebastián Apesteguía, Nathan Smith, Dongyu Hu & Peter Makovicky
The independent evolution of gigantism among dinosaurs has been a topic of longstanding interest, but it remains unclear if gigantic theropods, the largest bipeds in the fossil record, all achieved massive sizes in the same manner, or through different strategies. We perform multi-element histological analyses on a phylogenetically broad dataset sampled from eight theropod families, with a focus on gigantic tyrannosaurids and carcharodontosaurids, to reconstruct the growth strategies of these lineages and test if particular...

Data from: Deciphering an extreme morphology: bone microarchitecture of the Hero Shrew backbone (Soricidae: Scutisorex)

Stephanie M. Smith & Kenneth D. Angielczyk
Biological structures with extreme morphologies are puzzling because they often lack obvious functions and stymie comparisons to homologous or analogous features with more typical shapes. An example of such an extreme morphotype is the uniquely modified vertebral column of the hero shrew Scutisorex, which features numerous accessory intervertebral articulations and massively expanded transverse processes. The function of these vertebral structures is unknown, and it is difficult to meaningfully compare them to vertebrae from animals with...

Life history predicts flight muscle phenotype and function in birds

Shane DuBay, Yongjie Wu, Graham Scott, Yanhua Qu, Qiao Liu, Joel Smith, Chao Xin, Andrew Hart Reeve, Chen Juncheng, Dylan Meyer, Jing Wang, Jacob Johnson, Zachary Cheviron, Fumin Lei & John Bates
1. Functional traits are the essential phenotypes that underlie an organism’s life history and ecology. Although biologists have long recognized that intraspecific variation is consequential to an animals’ ecology, studies of functional variation are often restricted to species-level comparisons, ignoring critical variation within species. In birds, interspecific comparisons have been foundational in connecting flight muscle phenotypes to species-level ecology, but intraspecific variation has remained largely unexplored. 2. We asked how age- and sex-dependent demands on...

Ancient orogenic and monsoon-driven assembly of the world's richest temperate alpine flora

Wen-Na Ding, Richard H. Ree, Robert A. Spicer & Yao-Wu Xing
Understanding how alpine biotas formed in response to historical environmental change may improve our ability to predict and mitigate the threats to alpine species posed by global warming. In the world's richest temperate alpine flora, that of the Tibet-Himalaya-Hengduan region, phylogenetic reconstructions of biome and geographic range evolution show that extant lineages emerged by the early Oligocene and diversified first in the Hengduan Mountains. By the early to middle Miocene, accelerated diversification and colonization of...

An effect size statistical framework for investigating sexual dimorphism in non-avian dinosaurs and other extinct taxa

Evan Saitta, Maximilian Stockdale, Nicholas Longrich, Vincent Bonhomme, Michael Benton, Innes Cuthill & Peter Makovicky
Despite reports of sexual dimorphism in extinct taxa, such claims in non-avian dinosaurs have been underrepresented recently (~the last decade) and often criticized. Since dimorphism is widespread in sexually reproducing organisms today, underrepresentation might suggest either methodological shortcomings or that this diverse group exhibited highly unusual reproductive biology. Univariate significance testing, especially for bimodality, is ineffective and prone to false negatives. Species recognition and mutual sexual selection hypotheses, therefore, may not be required to explain...

Accelerated brain shape evolution is associated with rapid diversification in an avian radiation

Chad Eliason, Jenna McCullough, Michael Andersen & Shannon Hackett
Niche expansion is a critical step in the speciation process. Large brains linked to improved cognitive ability may enable species to expand their niches and forage in new ways, thereby promoting speciation. Despite considerable work on ecological divergence in brain size and its importance in speciation, relatively little is known about how brain shape relates to behavioral, ecological, and taxonomic diversity at macroevolutionary scales. This is due, in part, to inherent challenges with quantifying brain...

Data from: Phylogenetic diversity of two geographically overlapping species in the lichen genus Sticta (Ascomycota: Peltigeraceae): Isolation by distance, environment, or fragmentation?

Robert Lücking, Bibiana Moncada & H. Thorsten Lumbsch
Aim: To test whether the degree of phylogenetic diversity differs in two congeneric, morphologically similar lichens that are both widespread and with a similar geographical range (Neotropics and Hawaii), but differ in altitudinal and habitat preferences, and whether the two species underwent isolation by distance (IBD), environment (IBE), or fragmentation (IBF). Location: South and Central America, Caribbean, Hawaii, Azores. Taxon: Sticta (Peltigeraceae). Methods: Analysis of 395 specimens across the study area; ITS barcoding marker; maximum...

Data from: Morphological innovation and biomechanical diversity in plunge-diving birds

Chad Eliason, Lorian Cobra Straker, Sunghwan Jung & Shannon Hackett
Innovations in foraging behavior can drive morphological diversity by opening up new ways of interacting with the environment, or limit diversity through functional constraints associated with different foraging behaviors. Several classic examples of adaptive radiations in birds show increased variation in ecologically relevant traits. However, these cases primarily focus on geographically narrow adaptive radiations, consider only morphological evolution without a biomechanical approach, or do not investigate tradeoffs with other non-focal traits that might be affected...

The origins of coca: museum genomics reveals multiple independent domestications from progenitor Erythroxylum gracilipes

Dawson White, Jen Pan Huang, Orlando Jara-Muñoz, Santiago Madriñan, Richard Ree & Roberta Mason-Gamer
Coca is the natural source of cocaine as well as a sacred and medicinal plant farmed by South American Amerindians and mestizos. The coca crop comprises four closely related varieties classified into two species (Amazonian and Huánuco varieties within Erythroxylum coca Lam., and Colombian and Trujillo varieties within E. novogranatense (D.Morris) Hieron.) but our understanding of their wild progenitor(s) and origins remains rudimentary. In this study we use genomic data from natural history collections to...

Morphology and osteohistology of a large-bodied caenagnathid (Theropoda: Oviraptorosauria) from the Hell Creek Formation (Montana): implications for size-based classifications and growth reconstruction in theropods

Thomas Cullen, D. Jade Simon, Elizabeth Benner & David Evans
Oviraptorosaurs, like many coelurosaurians, are frequently diagnosed using incomplete or fragmentary skeletal remains, with factors such as body size often used to assign material to a particular taxon or as a basis for describing new species. Here we describe a partial skeleton, ROM VP 65884, from the Hell Creek Formation (Montana), and through morphological and phylogenetic comparisons identify it as belonging to Caenagnathidae, and likely referable to Anzu wyliei. We perform multi-element osteohistological sampling of...

Registration Year

  • 2020

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Field Museum of Natural History
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Bath
  • University of Guam
  • University of Montana
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • Sichuan University