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Data from: Trophic convergence drives morphological convergence in marine tetrapods

Citation

Kelley, Neil P.; Motani, Ryosuke (2015), Data from: Trophic convergence drives morphological convergence in marine tetrapods, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.tt36g

Abstract

Marine tetrapod clades (e.g. seals, whales) independently adapted to marine life through the Mesozoic and Caenozoic, and provide iconic examples of convergent evolution. Apparent morphological convergence is often explained as the result of adaptation to similar ecological niches. However, quantitative tests of this hypothesis are uncommon. We use dietary data to classify the feeding ecology of extant marine tetrapods and identify patterns in skull and tooth morphology that discriminate trophic groups across clades. Mapping these patterns onto phylogeny reveals coordinated evolutionary shifts in diet and morphology in different marine tetrapod lineages. Similarities in morphology between species with similar diets—even across large phylogenetic distances—are consistent with previous hypotheses that shared functional constraints drive convergent evolution in marine tetrapods.

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