Jul 1, 2007

Deja vu: the evolution of feeding morphologies in the Carnivora

Integrative and Comparative Biology
Blaire Van Valkenburgh


The fossil record of the order Carnivora extends back at least 60 million years and documents a remarkable history of adaptive radiation characterized by the repeated, independent evolution of similar feeding morphologies in distinct clades. Within the order, convergence is apparent in the iterative appearance of a variety of ecomorphs, including cat-like, hyena-like, and wolf-like hypercarnivores, as well as a variety of less carnivorous forms, such as foxes, raccoons, and ursids. The iteration of similar forms has multiple causes. First, there are a limited number of ways to ecologically partition the carnivore niche, and second, the material properties of animal tissues (muscle, skin, bone) have not changed over the Cenozoic. Consequently, similar craniodental adaptations for feeding on different proportions of animal versus plant tissues evolve repeatedly. The extent of convergence in craniodental form can be striking, affecting skull proportions and overall shape, as well as dental morphology. The tendency to evolve highly convergent ecomorphs is most apparent among feeding extremes, such as sabertooths and bone-crackers where performance requirements tend to be more acute. A survey of the fossil record indicates that larg...Continue Reading

  • References
  • Citations46


  • We're still populating references for this paper, please check back later.
  • References
  • Citations46


Mentioned in this Paper

Procyon lotor
Science of Morphology
Animal Tissue, NOS
Transient Receptor Potential Cation Channel Subfamily V Member 6
Bone Structure of Cranium

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Coronavirus Protein Structures

Deciphering and comparing the proteins of different coronaviruses forms a basis for understanding SARS-CoV-2 evolution and virus-receptor interactions. This feed follows studies analyzing the structures of coronavirus proteins, thereby revealing potential drug target sites.

DDX3X Syndrome

DDX3X syndrome is caused by a spontaneous mutation at conception that primarily affects girls due to its location on the X-chromosome. DDX3X syndrome has been linked to intellectual disabilities, seizures, autism, low muscle tone, brain abnormalities, and slower physical developments. Here is the latest research.

ALS: Stress Granules

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by cytoplasmic protein aggregates within motor neurons. TDP-43 is an ALS-linked protein that is known to regulate splicing and storage of specific mRNAs into stress granules, which have been implicated in formation of ALS protein aggregates. Here is the latest research.

Fusion Oncoproteins in Childhood Cancers

This feed explores the function of fusion oncoproteins in specific childhood cancers, including those from racial/ethnic minority and underserved groups, and to provide preclinical assessment of potential therapeutics and how fusion oncoproteins influence gene expression to perturb normal cellular programs to block lineage differentiation and development

Applications of Molecular Barcoding

The concept of molecular barcoding is that each original DNA or RNA molecule is attached to a unique sequence barcode. Sequence reads having different barcodes represent different original molecules, while sequence reads having the same barcode are results of PCR duplication from one original molecule. Discover the latest research on molecular barcoding here.

Regulation of Vocal-Motor Plasticity

Dopaminergic projections to the basal ganglia and nucleus accumbens shape the learning and plasticity of motivated behaviors across species including the regulation of vocal-motor plasticity and performance in songbirds. Discover the latest research on the regulation of vocal-motor plasticity here.

Mitotic-exit networks with cytokinesis

Cytokinesis is the highly regulated process that physically separates daughter and mother cells in late mitosis. The mitotic-exit network (MEN), the signalling pathway that drives mitotic exit, directly regulates cytokinesis. Discover the latest research on mitotic-exit networks with cytokinesis here.

DNA Replication Origin

DNA replication is initiated as specific gene sequences, called origins, that function to start DNA replication. Pre-replication complexes are assembled at these origins during the G1 phase of the cell cycle. These sequences allow for targeted activation or deactivation of replication. Discover the latest research on DNA replication origins here.