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A morphospace-based test for competitive exclusion among flying vertebrates: did birds, bats and pterosaurs get in each other's space?

McGowan, A.J. and Dyke, G.J. (2007) A morphospace-based test for competitive exclusion among flying vertebrates: did birds, bats and pterosaurs get in each other's space? Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 20, (3), pp. 1230-1236. (doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2006.01285.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Three vertebrate groups – birds, bats and pterosaurs – have evolved flapping flight over the past 200 million years. This innovation allowed each clade access to new ecological opportunities, but did the diversification of one of these groups inhibit the evolutionary radiation of any of the others? A related question is whether having the wing attached to the hindlimbs in bats and pterosaurs constrained their morphological diversity relative to birds. Fore- and hindlimb measurements from 894 specimens were used to construct a morphospace to assess morphological overlap and range, a possible indicator of competition, among the three clades. Neither birds nor bats entered pterosaur morphospace across the Cretaceous–Paleogene (Tertiary) extinction. Bats plot in a separate area from birds, and have a significantly smaller morphological range than either birds or pterosaurs. On the basis of these results, competitive exclusion among the three groups is not supported

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e-pub ahead of print date: 8 January 2007
Published date: May 2007
Keywords: competitive exclusion, cretaceous–paleogene, flight, legs, morphospace, wings
Organisations: Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 205207
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/205207
ISSN: 1010-061X
PURE UUID: 6d00e109-bcc7-4b6b-9e18-a6788a5f1985

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Dec 2011 15:05
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:05

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Contributors

Author: A.J. McGowan
Author: G.J. Dyke

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