Integration and diversity of the caviomorph mandible (Rodentia: Hystricomorpha): assessing the evolutionary history through fossils and ancestral shape reconstructions
ALVAREZ, ALICIA; ERCOLI, MARCOS DARÍO; VERZI, DIEGO H.
ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY
WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2020 vol. 188 p. 276 - 301
Caviomorph rodents constitute a highly diverse clade of Neotropical mammals. They are recorded since at least the late Middle Eocene and have a long and complex evolutionary history. Using geometric morphometric data, we analysed the variation in mandibular shape of this clade through integration analyses, allometry and shape optimizations onto a phylogenetic tree of 104 extant and extinct species. The analyses of shape variation revealed a strong influence of phylogenetic structure and life habits. A remarkable allometric effect was observed for specific mandibular traits. Morphological changes occurring in the alveolar and muscular functional units were moderately associated. Interestingly, the coordinated evolution of these two functional units was decoupled in the clade of extantabrocomids. A sequential and nearly synchronic acquisition of convergent traits has occurred in chinchillids and derived cavioids since at least the early Middle Oligocene, probably derived from grass-feeding habits or similar adaptations to other abrasive items. Convergences between fossorial taxa evolved in two main events through the Oligocene and middle Late Miocene. Morphological analysis of the fossil representatives allowed a betterunderstanding of the timing of trait acquisitions during the evolutionary history of caviomorphs and its relationship with global and regional palaeoenvironmental changes.