Two- Versus Three-Dimensional Morphometric Approaches in Macroevolution: Insight from the Mandible of Caviomorph Rodents
ALVAREZ, ALICIA; PEREZ, S. IVAN
Lugar: Nueva York; Año: 2013 vol. 40 p. 150 - 157
Morphological variation is one of the most studied dimensions of evolutionary biology, given its close relationship with the ecological aspects of biological diversification. In this work we examine the differences between the use of two- and three-dimensional morphometric techniques for the analysis of macroevolutionary patterns of morphological variation in the mandible of the South American caviomorph rodents, which displays varying degrees of hystricognathy. The variation patterns were similar for 2D and 3D coordinate datasets. However, phylogenetic comparative statistical analyses showed widely different results for mandible variation. Both the phylogenetic signal values and the results of phylogenetic regressions were markedly different between the two macroevolutionary mandible datasets. This suggests that the inclusion of the third coordinate to characterize a hystricognathous mandible may lead to completely different interpretations concerning the processes that could be regulating the morphological diversification of the caviomorph mandible. We also compare these results with the 2D and 3D macroevolutionary patterns of variation in cranial shape and the intra-specific mandible variation. The variation patterns were similar for 2D and 3D coordinate for all these comparative datasets. The differing results obtained at different evolutionary scales, give strength to the statement about careful selection of data not only in studies of morphological variation in caviomorphs but also for other groups of organisms.