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Data from: Dietary specialization is linked to reduced species durations in North American fossil canids

Citation

Balisi, Mairin; Casey, Corinna; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire (2018), Data from: Dietary specialization is linked to reduced species durations in North American fossil canids, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1pj2600

Abstract

How traits influence species persistence is a fundamental question in ecology, evolution, and paleontology. We test the relationship between dietary traits and both species duration and locality coverage over 40 million years in North American canids, a clade with considerable ecomorphological disparity and a dense fossil record. Because ecomorphological generalization--broad resource use--may enable species to withstand disturbance, we predicted that canids of average size and mesocarnivory would exhibit longer durations and wider distributions than specialized larger or smaller species. Second, because locality coverage might reflect dispersal ability and/or survivability in a range of habitats, we predicted that high coverage would correspond with longer durations. We find a non-linear relationship between species duration and degree of carnivory: species at either end of the carnivory spectrum tend to have shorter durations than mesocarnivores. Locality coverage shows no relationship with size, diet, nor duration. To test whether generalization (medium size, mesocarnivory) corresponds to an adaptive optimum, we fit trait evolution models to previously generated canid phylogenies. Our analyses identify no single optimum in size or diet. Instead, the primary model of size evolution is a classic Cope's Rule increase over time, while dietary evolution does not conform to a single model.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1501931

Location

North America