Input data from: Mammalian forelimb evolution is driven by uneven proximal-to-distal morphological diversity
Rothier, Priscila et al. (2023), Input data from: Mammalian forelimb evolution is driven by uneven proximal-to-distal morphological diversity, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.0cfxpnw6h
Vertebrate limb morphology often reflects the environment due to variation in locomotor requirements. However, proximal and distal limb segments may evolve differently from one another, reflecting an anatomical gradient of functional specialization that has been suggested to be impacted by the timing of development. Here we explore whether the temporal sequence of bone condensation predicts variation in the capacity of evolution to generate morphological diversity in proximal and distal forelimb segments across more than 600 species of mammals. Distal elements not only exhibit greater shape diversity, but also show stronger within-element integration and, on average, faster evolutionary responses than intermediate and upper limb segments. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that late-developing distal bones display greater morphological variation than more proximal limb elements. However, the higher integration observed within the autopod deviates from such developmental predictions, suggesting that functional specialization plays an important role in driving within-element covariation. Proximal and distal limb segments also show different macroevolutionary patterns, albeit not showing a perfect proximo-distal gradient. The high disparity of the mammalian autopod, reported here, is consistent with the higher potential of development to generate variation in more distal limb structures, as well as functional specialization of the distal elements.
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Award: 204841/2018-6
European Research Council, Award: ERC-2015-STG-677774