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Title: Amber fossils demonstrate deep-time stability of Caribbean lizard communities
Contributor(s): Sherratt, Emma (author); del Rosario Castaneda, Maria (author); Garwood, Russell J (author); Mahler, D Luke (author); Sanger, Thomas J (author); Herrel, Anthony (author); de Queiroz, Kevin (author); Losos, Jonathan B (author)
Publication Date: 2015
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1506516112Open Access Link
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Abstract: Whether the structure of ecological communities can exhibit stability over macroevolutionary timescales has long been debated. The similarity of independently evolved 'Anolis' lizard communities on environmentally similar Greater Antillean islands supports the notion that community evolution is deterministic. However, a dearth of Caribbean 'Anolis' fossils - only three have been described to date - has precluded direct investigation of the stability of anole communities through time. Here we report on an additional 17 fossil anoles in Dominican amber dating to 15-20 My before the present. Using data collected primarily by X-ray microcomputed tomography (X-ray micro-CT), we demonstrate that the main elements of Hispaniolan anole ecomorphological diversity were in place in the Miocene. Phylogenetic analysis yields results consistent with the hypothesis that the ecomorphs that evolved in the Miocene are members of the same ecomorph clades extant today. The primary axes of ecomorphological diversity in the Hispaniolan anole fauna appear to have changed little between the Miocene and the present, providing evidence for the stability of ecological communities over macroevolutionary timescales.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(32), p. 9961-9966
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1091-6490
Field of Research (FOR): 060303 Biological Adaptation
040308 Palaeontology (incl Palynology)
060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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