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Morphometric assessment of pterosaur jaw disparity

Morphometric assessment of pterosaur jaw disparity
Morphometric assessment of pterosaur jaw disparity

Pterosaurs were a successful group of Mesozoic flying reptiles. They were the first vertebrate group to achieve powered flight and varied enormously in morphology and ecology, occupying a variety of niches and developing specialized feeding strategies. Ecomorphological principles suggest this variation should be reflected by great morphological diversity in the lower jaw, given that the mandible served as the primary apparatus for prey acquisition. Here we present the first study of mandibular shape disparity in pterosaurs and aim to characterize major aspects of variation.We use a combination of geometric morphometric approaches, incorporating both outline analysis using elliptical Fourier analysis and semilandmark approaches. Our results show that morphological convergence is prevalent and many pterosaurs, belonging to diverse dietary groups and subclades, overlap in morphospace and possessed relatively simple ‘rod-shaped’ jaws. There is no clear trend of size distributions in pterosaur mandibular morphospace, and larger forms are widely distributed. Additionally, there is limited functional signal within pterosaur lower jaw morphospace. Instead, the development of a large anterior ventral crest represents the major component of disparity. This suggests that a socio-sexual trait was a key driver for innovation in pterosaur lower jaw shape.

Disparity, Geometric morphometrics, Morphospace, Pterosauria
Navarro, Charlie A.
1894b206-6f36-4c10-9070-3078ab07ab05
Martin-Silverstone, Elizabeth
4f87b172-3ce1-42d5-ad23-68a48169f2a3
Stubbs, Thomas L.
b9fc03d8-7f8a-4d05-9e8f-39dbb1e46658
Navarro, Charlie A.
1894b206-6f36-4c10-9070-3078ab07ab05
Martin-Silverstone, Elizabeth
4f87b172-3ce1-42d5-ad23-68a48169f2a3
Stubbs, Thomas L.
b9fc03d8-7f8a-4d05-9e8f-39dbb1e46658

Navarro, Charlie A., Martin-Silverstone, Elizabeth and Stubbs, Thomas L. (2018) Morphometric assessment of pterosaur jaw disparity. Royal Society Open Science, 5 (4), [172130]. (doi:10.1098/rsos.172130).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Pterosaurs were a successful group of Mesozoic flying reptiles. They were the first vertebrate group to achieve powered flight and varied enormously in morphology and ecology, occupying a variety of niches and developing specialized feeding strategies. Ecomorphological principles suggest this variation should be reflected by great morphological diversity in the lower jaw, given that the mandible served as the primary apparatus for prey acquisition. Here we present the first study of mandibular shape disparity in pterosaurs and aim to characterize major aspects of variation.We use a combination of geometric morphometric approaches, incorporating both outline analysis using elliptical Fourier analysis and semilandmark approaches. Our results show that morphological convergence is prevalent and many pterosaurs, belonging to diverse dietary groups and subclades, overlap in morphospace and possessed relatively simple ‘rod-shaped’ jaws. There is no clear trend of size distributions in pterosaur mandibular morphospace, and larger forms are widely distributed. Additionally, there is limited functional signal within pterosaur lower jaw morphospace. Instead, the development of a large anterior ventral crest represents the major component of disparity. This suggests that a socio-sexual trait was a key driver for innovation in pterosaur lower jaw shape.

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Accepted/In Press date: 26 March 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 April 2018
Published date: April 2018
Keywords: Disparity, Geometric morphometrics, Morphospace, Pterosauria

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Local EPrints ID: 420531
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420531
PURE UUID: 2d4249d2-0f9f-45a5-a578-2af2ed3592e4

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Date deposited: 10 May 2018 16:30
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:18

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Contributors

Author: Charlie A. Navarro
Author: Elizabeth Martin-Silverstone
Author: Thomas L. Stubbs

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