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Evolutionary implications of dental anomalies in bats

Cite this dataset

Esquivel, Diego A; Maestri, Renan; Santana, Sharlene E (2021). Evolutionary implications of dental anomalies in bats [Dataset]. Dryad.


The gain or loss of anatomical features is an important mechanism of morphological evolution and ecological adaptation. Dental anomalies –the loss or gain of teeth– are widespread and a potential source of craniodental specialization among mammals, yet their macroevolutionary patterns have been rarely explored. We present the first phylogenetic comparative study of dental anomalies across the second largest mammal Order, Chiroptera (bats). We conducted an extensive literature review and surveyed a large sample of museum specimens to analyze the types and prevalence of dental anomalies across bats, and performed phylogenetic comparative analyses to investigate the role of phylogenetic history and dietary specialization on incidence of dental anomalies. We found dental anomalies have a significant phylogenetic signal, suggesting they are not simply the result of idiosyncratic mutations or random developmental disorders, but may have ancestral genetic origins or result from shared developmental pathways among closely related species. The incidence of dental anomalies was not associated with diet categories, suggesting no effect of craniodental specialization on dental anomalies across bats. Our results give insight into the macroevolutionary patterns of dental anomalies in bats, and provide a foundation for investigating new hypotheses underlying the evolution of dental variation and diversity in mammals.


We compiled an extensive database of dental anomalies spanning 17,905 bat specimens using the diffenrent resources, and performed phylogenetic comparative analyses to investigate the role of phylogenetic history and dietary specialization on incidence of dental anomalies.

Usage notes

This dataset contains information used in the corresponding analyzes:

Supplementary Data 1. Number of specimens included per species of bats, 
                      and the list of museums and catalogue numbers of 
                      specimens examined (.docx).
Supplementary Data 2. Dietary classification for 269 bat species used in 
                      the present study. Data sources and references are 
                      included (.docx and .xlsx).
Supplementary Data 3. Phylogeny of 269 bat operational taxonomic units 
                      (OTUs) with dental anomalies data. Molecular 
                      phylogeny modified from Shi and Rabosky (2015). 
                      Major taxonomic groups are indicated (.docx).
Supplementary Data 4. Bat family, species, type of anomaly, number of 
                      individuals with anomalies, total number recorded, 
                      and percentage incidence analyzed in this study (.docx and .xlsx). 
Supplementary Data 5. Bat families, genus and species recorded with dental
                      anomalies. Oligodontia or polyodontia are described 
                      by species and a list of references is included (.docx and .xlsx).
Supplementary Data 6. Phylogenies showing the percentage incidence of 
                      dental anomalies in oligodontia (left), and 
                      polyodontia (right) across species, with branch 
                      colors representing ancestral state estimation using
                      maximum likelihood (.docx).
Supplementary Data 7A. Bar plots showing the extent of the data coverage. 
                      The first bar plot shows raw data and the second 
                      log raw data.  7B. Estimating the effect of sample 
                      size (.docx). 


Coordenação de Aperfeicoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, Award: 88882.439397/2019-01