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Anguimorpha as a model group for studying the comparative heart morphology among Lepidosauria: Evolutionary window on the ventricular septation

Citation

Gregorovicova, Martina et al. (2022), Anguimorpha as a model group for studying the comparative heart morphology among Lepidosauria: Evolutionary window on the ventricular septation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.crjdfn37k

Abstract

The group Anguimorpha represents one of the most unified squamate clades in terms of body plan, ecomorphology, ecophysiology and evolution. On the other hand, the anguimorphs vary between different habitats and ecological niches. Therefore, we focused on the group Anguimorpha to test a possible correlation between heart morphology and ecological niche with respect to phylogenetic position in Squamata with Sphenodon, Salvator, and Pogona as the outgroups. The chosen lepidosaurian species were investigated by microCT. Generally, all lepidosaurs had two well-developed atria with complete interatrial septum and one ventricle divided by ventricular septa to three different areas. The ventricles of all lepidosaurians had a compact layer and abundant trabeculae. The compact layer and trabeculae were developed in accordance with the particular ecological niche of the species; the trabeculae in nocturnal animals with low metabolism, such as Sphenodon, Heloderma or Lanthanotus, were more massive. On the other hand, athletic animals, such as varanids or Salvator, had ventricle compartmentalization divided by three incomplete septa. A difference between varanids and Salvator was found in compact layer thickness: thicker in monitor lizards and possibly linked to their mammalian-like high blood pressure, and the level of ventricular septation. In summary: heart morphology varied among clades in connection with the ecological niche of particular species and it reflects the phylogenetic position in the model clade Anguimorpha. In the absence of fossil evidence, this is the closest approach to understanding heart evolution and septation in clades with different cardiac compartmentalization levels.

Funding

lékařská fakulta Univerzity Karlovy, Award: Progres Q38/1LF

lékařská fakulta Univerzity Karlovy, Award: Progres Q29/1LF

Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, Award: LM2018129

Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, Award: Cooperatio 207029 Cardiovascular Sciences

Akademie Věd České Republiky, Award: 67985823