Publicación Artículo científico (article).

Diet versatility and functional trade-offs shape tooth morphology in squirrels

Digital.CSIC. Repositorio Institucional del CSIC
Digital.CSIC. Repositorio Institucional del CSIC
  • Menéndez, Iris
  • Swiderski, Donald L
  • Gómez Cano, Ana R
  • Hernández Fernández, Manuel
  • Álvarez-Sierra, María A
  • Zelditch, Miriam L
Identifying the drivers of adaptation is key to understanding the origin and evolution of diversity. Here we study the morphological evolution of tooth morphology, a classic example of a conserved structure, to gain insights into the conditions that can overcome resistance to evolutionary change. We use geometric morphometrics of the occlusal surface outline of the fourth lower premolar (p4) of squirrels, a paradigm of a stable tooth morphology, to explore morphological adaptations to diet. Although a versatile generalist dental morphology favors the retention of the ancestral shape, the acquisition of diets that require strong mechanical processing drives morphological change. In particular, species that eat both grass and dry fruits evolved disparate tooth shape morphologies, related to trade-offs between feeding performance that lead to a more or less pronounced change depending on the proportion of those items in their diet. Also, some folivores develop relatively large p4s, and most bark gleaners have relatively small p4s. Ultimately, despite the role of diet shaping these patterns, we showed that diet is not the only factor driving the evolution of tooth morphology., I.M. was funded by a predoctoral grant from the Complutense University of Madrid (CT27/16-CT28/16) and two travel grants of the same institution to visit museum collections (EB40/17 and EB14/19). I.M. was awarded with the collection study grant in 2018 granted by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York. This work was partially supported by the project PGC2018- 094955-A-I00 and PGC2018-094122-B-I00 of the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MCI/AEI/FEDER, EU). This is a contribution of the Research Group Team UCM-910607 on the Evolution of Cenozoic Mammals and Continental Palaeoenvironments of UCM., Peer reviewed

Digital.CSIC. Repositorio Institucional del CSIC

Digital.CSIC. Repositorio Institucional del CSIC
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Digital.CSIC. Repositorio Institucional del CSIC