Data from: Structure-function covariation with nonfeeding ecological variables influences evolution of feeding specialization in Carnivora
Tseng, Jack, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Flynn, John J., American Museum of Natural History
Published Jan 05, 2019 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Tseng, Jack; Flynn, John J. (2019). Data from: Structure-function covariation with nonfeeding ecological variables influences evolution of feeding specialization in Carnivora [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4t5q5
Skull shape convergence is pervasive among vertebrates. Although this is frequently inferred to indicate similar functional underpinnings, neither the specific structure-function linkages nor the selective environments in which the supposed functional adaptations arose are commonly identified and tested. We demonstrate that nonfeeding factors relating to sexual maturity and precipitation-related arboreality also can generate structure-function relationships in the skulls of carnivorans (dogs, cats, seals, and relatives) through covariation with masticatory performance. We estimated measures of masticatory performance related to ecological variables that covary with cranial shape in the mammalian order Carnivora, integrating geometric morphometrics and finite element analyses. Even after accounting for phylogenetic autocorrelation, cranial shapes are significantly correlated to both feeding and nonfeeding ecological variables, and covariation with both variable types generated significant masticatory performance gradients. This suggests that mechanisms of obligate shape covariation with nonfeeding variables can produce performance changes resembling those arising from feeding adaptations in Carnivora.
Morphed skull models representing ecological categories or end values. In Strand7 format. README file included in zipped folder.
Landmark datasets in txt format, generated by MorphoJ. README file included in zipped folder.
Topology sensitivity analysis files in Mesquite format. For details on data source for each topology and branch length configuration, see publication and supporting information. README file included in zipped folder.