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Data from: Comparative limb proportions reveal differential locomotor morphofunctions of alligatoroids and crocodyloids

Citation

Iijima, Masaya; Kubo, Tai; Kobayashi, Yoshitsugu (2018), Data from: Comparative limb proportions reveal differential locomotor morphofunctions of alligatoroids and crocodyloids, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q90rp

Abstract

Although two major clades of crocodylians (Alligatoroidea and Crocodyloidea) were split during the Cretaceous, relatively few morphological and functional differences between them have been known. In addition, interaction of multiple morphofunctional systems that differentiated their ecology has barely been assessed. In this study, we examined the limb proportions of crocodylians to infer the differences of locomotor functions between alligatoroids and crocodyloids, and tested the correlation of locomotor and feeding morphofunctions. Our analyses revealed crocodyloids including Gavialis have relatively long stylopodia (humerus and femur) than alligatoroids, indicating that two groups may differ in locomotor functions. Fossil evidence suggested that alligatoroids have retained short stylopodia since the early stage of their evolution. Furthermore, rostral shape, an indicator of trophic function, is correlated with limb proportions, where slender-snouted piscivorous taxa have relatively long stylopodia and short overall limbs. In combination, trophic and locomotor functions might differently delimit the ecological opportunity of alligatoroids and crocodyloids in the evolution of crocodylians.

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