Supplementary material from "Unexpected evolutionary patterns of dental ontogenetic traits in cetartiodactyl mammals"

Published on 2019-02-08T11:46:56Z (GMT) by
Studying ontogeny in both extant and extinct species can unravel the mechanisms underlying mammal diversification and specialization. Among mammalian clades, Cetartiodactyla encompass species with a wide range of adaptations, and ontogenetic evidence could clarify longstanding debates on the origins of modern specialized families. Here, we study the evolution of dental eruption patterns in early diverging cetartiodactyls to assess the ecological and biological significances of this character and shed new light on phylogenetic issues. After investigation of ontogenetic dental series of 63 extinct genera, our parsimony reconstructions of eruption state evolution suggest that eruption of molars before permanent premolars represent a plesiomorphic condition within Cetartiodactyla. This result substantially differs from a previous study based on modern species only. As a result, the presence of this pattern in most ruminants might represent an ancestral condition contributing to their specialized herbivory, rather than an original adaptation. In contrast, late eruption of molars in hippopotamoids is more likely related to biological aspects, such as increases in body mass and slower pace of life. Our study mainly shows that eruption sequences reliably characterize higher level cetartiodactyl taxa and could represent a new source of phylogenetic characters, especially to disentangle the origin of hippopotamoids and cetaceans.

Cite this collection

Gomes Rodrigues, Helder; Lihoreau, Fabrice; Orliac, Maëva; G. M. Thewissen, J.; Boisserie, Jean-Renaud (2019): Supplementary material from "Unexpected evolutionary patterns of dental ontogenetic traits in cetartiodactyl mammals". The Royal Society. Collection.