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Data from: Morphological disparity in theropod jaws: comparing discrete characters and geometric morphometrics


Schaeffer, Joep; Benton, Michael J.; Rayfield, Emily J.; Stubbs, Thomas L. (2019), Data from: Morphological disparity in theropod jaws: comparing discrete characters and geometric morphometrics, v3, Dryad, Dataset,


Disparity, the diversity of form and function of organisms, is frequently measured, and can be assessed from cladistic or phenetic characters, and from discrete characters or continuous characters such as landmarks, outlines, or ratios. But do these different methods of assessing disparity provide comparable results? Here we provide a large-scale test in which character sets are standardized for anatomical-functional comparability, and compare three methods of capturing morphological disparity (discrete characters, morphometric outlines and geometric morphometric landmarks). We use coelurosaurian dinosaur mandibles as our case study. We find that all methods correlate significantly with each other and capture similar patterns of morphological variation. The correlation is strongest between the two morphometric methods, and weaker between the morphometric methods and the discrete characters. When expanding the scope of sampling for all three analyses to include all possible taxa results are consistent with a reduced standardized sample across all three measures. Our results from all methods confirm that Maniraptoriformes had the highest disparity of all coelurosaurians, and omnivores and herbivores had higher disparity than carnivores.

Usage Notes


Supplementary tables and figures


Landmark data file containing raw data on theropod mandibles, in tps format.


Table of mandible-related cladistic characters for theropods, in nexus format.


Coordinates of all taxa in PCA hyperspace.


Taxon-character matrix in Nexus format.


Supplementary methods, figures, and tables.


Taxon-character matrix in Nexus format.


Mandible landmark data in Excel format.


Landmark data in tps format.


Landmark data in tps format.


Landmark data in tps format.


Landmark data in tps format.


Zip file of a folder containing all the input and output files for the simulations to identify a range of variation.