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Investigating the homology of the tympanic ear in diapsida

Grant number: 21/09535-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2021
Effective date (End): November 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal researcher:Tiana Kohlsdorf
Grantee:Mario Bronzati Filho
Supervisor abroad: Ingmar Werneburg
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:18/18145-9 - INTEGRATING EVO-DEVO AND PALAEONTOLOGY ON THE STUDY OF THE ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION OF THE TYMPANIC MEMBRANE IN DIAPSIDA, BP.PD

Abstract

The current paradigm holds that the tympanic ear appeared at least three time among tetrapods: in amphibians, mammals, and reptiles (including birds). However, the hypothesis of a single origin for this structure among reptiles is still not consensual, and various aspects of this problem have not yet been analysed in detail. The post-doctoral research associated to this proposal conducts a detailed analysis on the ontogeny of the tympanic ear in living reptiles (= living diapsids - birds, crocodylians, snakes, lizards, tuatara, turtles) using molecular biology techniques, histological sections, and µCT-imaging of embryonic. The combination of these distinct techniques is desirable in order to establish a primary conjecture of homology for this structure in the group. Results of this part of the project will be analysed together with results of the paleontological aspect of this project, which seeks to establish the ancestral condition regarding the presence/absence of the tympanic ear in diapsids, based on osteological correlates of the tympanic ear in the extinct lineages. In this sense, the project will greatly benefit from the internship here proposed. Dr. Ingmar Werneburg is one of the world leaders in the study of tetrapods embryonic development and has a great deal of experience in the study of histological sections. Dr. Werneburg has also access to the Wolfgang-Maier-collection in Tübingen, which contains histological sections of a great number of diapsid embryos. The analysis of these materials will be of great value in order to develop a broader comparative analysis on the ontogeny of the ear in diapsids. Additionally, Dr. Werneburg has also a wide experience on the field of palaeontology and is curator of one of the most comprehensive palaeontological collections containing diapsid fossils in the world. His expertise and the full access to the collection in Tübingen will benefit the recognition of osteological correlates in other fossils that will be analysed during collection visits proposed during the internship abroad. (AU)

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