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Data from: Evolutionary patterns of shape and functional diversification in the skull and jaw musculature of triggerfishes (Teleostei: Balistidae)

Citation

McCord, Charlene; Westneat, Mark W.; McCord, Charlene L. (2016), Data from: Evolutionary patterns of shape and functional diversification in the skull and jaw musculature of triggerfishes (Teleostei: Balistidae), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vd7bf

Abstract

The robust skull and highly subdivided adductor mandibulae muscles of triggerfishes provide an excellent system within which to analyze the evolutionary processes underlying phenotypic diversification. We surveyed the anatomical diversity of balistid jaws using Procrustes-based geometric morphometric analyses and a phylomorphospace approach to quantifying morphological transformation through evolution. We hypothesized that metrics of interspecific cranial shape would reveal patterns of phylogenetic diversification that are congruent with functional and ecological transformation. Morphological landmarks outlining skull and adductor mandibulae muscle shape were collected from 27 triggerfish species. Procrustes-transformed skull shape configurations revealed significant phylogenetic and size-influenced structure. Phylomorphospace plots of cranial shape diversity reveal groupings of shape between different species of triggerfish that are mostly consistent with phylogenetic relatedness. Repeated instances of convergence upon similar cranial shape by genetically disparate taxa are likely due to the functional demands of shared specialized dietary habits. This study shows that the diversification of triggerfish skulls occurs via modifications of cranial silhouette and the positioning of subdivided jaw adductor muscles. Using the morphometric data collected here as input to a biomechanical model of triggerfish jaw function, we find that subdivided jaw adductors, in conjunction with a unique cranial skeleton, have direct biomechanical consequences that are not always congruent with phylomorphospace patterns in the triggerfish lineage. The integration of geometric morphometrics with biomechanical modeling in a phylogenetic context provides novel insight into the evolutionary patterns and ecological role of muscle subdivisions in triggerfishes.

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