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Dryad

Data from: Cenozoic climate change and the evolution of North American mammalian predator ecomorphology

Cite this dataset

Juhn, Mark et al. (2024). Data from: Cenozoic climate change and the evolution of North American mammalian predator ecomorphology [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2fqz612xw

Abstract

The trend of global cooling across the Cenozoic transformed the North American landscape from closed forest to more open grasslands, resulting in dietary adaptations in herbivores in response to shifting resources. In contrast, the material properties of the predator food source, muscle, skin, and bone, have remained constant over this transition, suggesting a corresponding lack of change in predator dietary adaptations. We investigate the North American mammal predator fossil record using a tooth shape metric and body mass, predicting that the former would exhibit stability. Instead, we found that mean molar morphology became more blade-like, with our tooth shape metric sharply increasing in the late Eocene and remaining high from the Oligocene onward. Subsequent tests in extant carnivorans reveal taxa with more blade-like teeth are prevalent in more open environments. Our results reveal an unexpected functional shift among North American predators in response to large-scale environmental changes across the Cenozoic.

README: Cenozoic climate change and the evolution of North American mammalian predator ecomorphology supplemental data

https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2fqz612xw

The dataset contains the minimum age, maximum age, body mass, and relative blade length (RBL) for 393 North American mammalian predators. It also includes body mass, RBL, dietary category and habitat type for 190 extant Carnivorans. 

Description of the data and file structure

The datafile is an excel sheet with seven sheets. 

Sheet 1: Fossil Data - contains minimum age, maximum age, body mass, m1L (first lower molar length) or largest molar (for creodonts) and relative blade length (RBL) for 393 North American mammalian predators. Units for minimum and maximum age are in Ma, m1L or largest molar is in mm, and body mass is in kg. 

Sheet 2: Extant Data - contains body mass, RBL, dietary category and habitat type for 190 extant Carnivorans. 

Sheet 3: References (Extant) - contains references for the Fossil Data sheet

Sheet 4: References (Extant) - contains references for the Extant Data sheet

Sheets 5-7: Handley BM, RBL, and Taxonomy - contains occurrence matrices used for the Handley likelihood analysis. Columns indicate different categories outlined in the manuscript for BM, RBL and Taxonomy, and the rows indicate abbreviations for the different North American Land Mammal Ages (NALMAs). For the body mass analysis (Handley_BM), the categories are A_0_1 (between 0 and 1 kg), B_ 1_7 (between 1 and 7 kg), C_7_21 (between 7 and 21 kg), D_21_100 (between 21 and 100 kg) and E_100 (above 100 kg). The categories for the RBL analysis (Handley_RBL) are A_4_5 (RBL between 0.4 and 0.5), B_5_6 (RBL between 0.5 and 0.6), C_6_7 (RBL between 0.6 and 0.7), D_7_8 (RBL between 0.7 and 0.8), E_8_9 (RBL between 0.8 and 0.9), and F_9_1 (RBL between 0.9 and 1).

The Supplemental_text file contains the supplemental table and figures for the manuscript. 

Code/Software

The Supplemental R Script contains the functions used to perform the Handley Likelihood Analysis. The data that the Handley Likelihood Analysis is provided in Sheets 5-7 as detailed above. 

Methods

Data is a combination of occurrence, morphological, diet and habitat data. The occurrence were collected from the New and Old Wrolds (NOW) and MIOMAP fossil mammal databases. The morphological data was collected from museum speciemens and published images. Diet and habitat data was collected from the liturature.