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Study of comparative anatomy and evolution of the prepollical spine in Anura (Chordata: Lissamphibia)

Grant number: 18/18473-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Morphology of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Taran Grant
Grantee:Paulo Durães Pereira Pinheiro
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:12/10000-5 - A multi-disciplinary approach to the study of amphibian diversification, AP.JP
Associated scholarship(s):19/25061-9 - Using micro-CT scanning to study the morphology and evolution of the SPINE-SHAPED PREPOLLEX in Anura (chordata: Lissamphibia), BE.EP.PD


The prepollex is a carpal element of the anuran skeleton that exhibits extensive morphological diversity. It has been hypothesized that this morphological diversity is related to certain functions and behaviors (e.g., territoriality, nest construction, and burrow excavation) and interactions with skin structures (e.g., carpal tubercles and nuptial pads). Among this morphological diversity, in some anuran groups the prepollex is developed into a conspicuous spine, especially in males. Due to its use in male-male combat, the prepollical spine is an important morphological structure in the reproductive biology of territorial species. The prepollical spine is known to occur in clades of five distinct families: Centrolenidae, Hylidae, Mantellidae, Microhylidae, and Ranidae. The spine is a protruding structure, associated to an elaborated musculature. However, its functional mechanisms are not totally known. The action mechanisms of the related muscles, passage of the spine through the skin, and the correlation between all this morpho-anatomical set and the social interactions of anurans seem to be a wonderful scenario for evolution studies and homology hypothesis on Anura phylogeny. The present project aims study the anatomy and histology of the prepollical spine of Anura, focusing specifically on the differences between the clades in which it occurs and clarifying the functional significance and evolutionary history of this important structure.

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PINHEIRO, PAULO D. P.; CARRIZO, GUSTAVO R.; FAIVOVICH, JULIAN. The identity of the poorly known treefrog Hyla varelae Carrizo, 1992 (Anura: Hylidae). ZOOLOGISCHER ANZEIGER, v. 283, p. 186-191, NOV 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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