PREVOSTI Francisco Juan
congresos y reuniones científicas
Skull shape in living and fossil carnivorans (Mammalian, Carnivora) and their relationship with size and the phylogenetic legacy.
Congreso; IV International Paleontological Congress; 2014
Carnivora is a group of mammals specialized on preying on other vertebrates. However, thereis a huge variation of feeding habits, from strictly hypercarnivores to exclusively herbivores. Themorphology of the skull partly conditions the dietary habits, whereas evolutionary history andconstraints affect shape variation in this group. We study the influence of dietary habits, phylogeneticrelationships and allometry on the shape of the cranium of carnivorans. We used 2D geometricmorphometry of the cranium and performed Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to study thedistribution of the specimens in the morphospace in relationship to diet habits and taxonomy.Also, a redundancy analysis (RDA) was used to study the influence of dietary habits, phylogeneticrelationships and allometry in shape. We found that carnivorans mainly grouped by taxonomy in thePCA, with Arctoidea, Canidae and Feliformia being separated. The last clade showed a separationin three distinct groups, Felidae, Hyanenidae plus Nimravidae, and the rest of Feliformia. The lastgroup included a large variation of ecomorphs, grouping species of Herpestidae, Eupleridae andViverridae between Canidae and Arctoidea. All these groups showed some overlap between them.The RDA showed strong influence of the phylogeny (about 80%), diet (about 37%) and a softerinfluence of size (about 5%). When diet and phylogeny were analyzed together, the shape varianceexplained exclusively by diet was very small, and most of the variance explained by diet was alsoexplained by phylogeny. Results indicate that cranial shape is mainly explained by phylogeneticrelationships, what could point to the existence of some kind of constrain. Dietary habits are alsostructured phylogenetically, which indicates that diet was also a relevant factor in the evolution ofthe group.