Journal article

Birds have peramorphic skulls, too: anatomical network analyses reveal oppositional heterochronies in avian skull evolution

  • Plateau, Olivia Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Chemin du Musée 6, CH-1700, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Foth, Christian Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Chemin du Musée 6, CH-1700, Fribourg, Switzerland
    01.12.2020
Published in:
  • Communications Biology. - 2020, vol. 3, no. 1, p. 195
English In contrast to the vast majority of reptiles, the skulls of adult crown birds are characterized by a high degree of integration due to bone fusion, e.g., an ontogenetic event generating a net reduction in the number of bones. To understand this process in an evolutionary context, we investigate postnatal ontogenetic changes in the skulls of crown bird and non-avian theropods using anatomical network analysis (AnNA). Due to the greater number of bones and bone contacts, early juvenile crown birds have less integrated skulls, resembling their non-avian theropod ancestors, including Archaeopteryx lithographica and Ichthyornis dispars. Phylogenetic comparisons indicate that skull bone fusion and the resulting modular integration represent a peramorphosis (developmental exaggeration of the ancestral adult trait) that evolved late during avialan evolution, at the origin of crown-birds. Succeeding the general paedomorphic shape trend, the occurrence of an additional peramorphosis reflects the mosaic complexity of the avian skull evolution.
Faculty
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Department
Département de Géosciences
Language
  • English
Classification
Biology
License
License undefined
Identifiers
Persistent URL
https://folia.unifr.ch/unifr/documents/308687
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