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Ecomorphological discrimination of vertebrate sister species with recent phylogenetic divergence using novel non-destructive morphometric methods

Other TitlesDiscriminación ecomorfológica de especies hermanas de vertebrados con divergencia filogenética reciente utilizando nuevos métodos morfométricos no-destructivos
AuthorsSantos-Santos, Javier H.
AdvisorVieites, David R. ; Ferrer Parareda, Javier María
KeywordsAdaptive radiation
Body shape
Functional morphology
Phenotypic plasticity
Species-specific allometry
Anura, Blommersia
Blommersia alexi sp. nov.
Blommersia nataliae sp. nov.
Computed tomography
Contrast staining
Musculoskeletal anatomy
New species
Pelvic shape
Cooling rate
Freeze tolerance
Rana sylvatica
Wood frog
Issue Date17-Jan-2019
PublisherUniversidad de Barcelona
CSIC - Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN)
AbstractThe thesis "Ecomorphological discrimination of vertebrate sister species with recent phylogenetic divergence using novel non-destructive morphometric methods” compares morphological evolution during syntopic adaptive radiation between two vertebrate classes: the model African cichlid fish and the non-model Malagasy mantellid frogs. In Section I the ontogenetic body shape development of two Lake Victoria haplochromine cichlid sister species (Haplochromis fischeri and H. piceatus) and their lab-reared hybrid is described by means of landmark-based Geometric Morphometrics. Chapter 1 relates divergent shape changes in the parental species to their respective trophic specializations and discloses associated shape variation linked to their respective locomotor specializations along the benthic-limnetic axis. Chapter 2 observes their hybrid to display a mosaic of parental and unique morphological features and discusses the influence of hybridization in the radiation of East African cichlids. In Section II computed-tomography (CT) techniques are used to study the musculoskeletal anatomy of mantellid frogs, specifically the genus Blommersia. Chapter 3 provides the ecological, morphological, and phylogenetic description of two new species of Blommersia (B. alexi and B. nataliae) found on the Comorian island of Mayotte thought to have evolved in sympatry and to be undergoing opposite processes of gigantism and nanism, respectively, in relation to their most recent common ancestor. Chapter 4 provides the first complete skeletal description of a mantellid species, B. alexi, and reveals genus-specific osteological features that are predicted to be implicated in their locomotion and unique reproductive behavior. Chapter 5 presents a custom soft-tissue contrast staining technique used prior to CT-scanning and applies the recently developed featureless Geometric Morphometric technique of Generalized Procrustes Surface Analysis to compare pelvic shape across seven species of the genus Blommersia, relating observed patterns of shape variation to their phylogenetic relationships and pelvic muscular architecture. In Section III the biomechanics of anuran locomotion are evaluated. Chapter 6 explores biomechanical performance during jumping and swimming locomotion in the wood frog (Rana sylvatica), putting special emphasis on the hindleg musculature implicated in thrust production during both locomotor modes, and reveals incredible physiological resilience as reflected by their relatively unaltered biomechanical performance before and after freezing. Overall, cichlid fish morphological evolution appears to be influenced to a larger degree by trophic ecological pressures, whereas in mantellid frogs it is body size variation and locomotor performance that condition species' divergence.
DescriptionMemòria presentada per Javier H. Santos-Santos per optar al grau de Doctor per la Universitat de Barcelona.-- Departament de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals, Programa de Doctorat en BIODIVERSITAT.
Appears in Collections:(MNCN) Tesis
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