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Title: Ecological correlates to cranial morphology in Leporids (Mammalia, Lagomorpha)
Contributor(s): Kraatz, Brian P (author); Sherratt, Emma (author); Bumacod, Nicholas (author); Wedel, Mathew J (author)
Publication Date: 2015
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.7717/peerj.844Open Access Link
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Abstract: The mammalian order Lagomorpha has been the subject of many morphometric studies aimed at understanding the relationship between form and function as it relates to locomotion, primarily in postcranial morphology. The leporid cranial skeleton, however, may also reveal information about their ecology, particularly locomotion and vision. Here we investigate the relationship between cranial shape and the degree of facial tilt with locomotion (cursoriality, saltation, and burrowing) within crown leporids. Our results suggest that facial tilt is more pronounced in cursors and saltators compared to generalists, and that increasing facial tilt may be driven by a need for expanded visual fields. Our phylogenetically informed analyses indicate that burrowing behavior, facial tilt, and locomotor behavior do not predict cranial shape. However, we find that variables such as bullae size, size of the splenius capitus fossa, and overall rostral dimensions are important components for understanding the cranial variation in leporids.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: PeerJ Computer Science, v.3, p. 1-20
Publisher: PeerJ Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2376-5992
Field of Research (FOR): 060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis
060303 Biological Adaptation
060809 Vertebrate Biology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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