Univ New England, Sch Environm & Rural Sci, Armidale, NSW - Australia
Número total de Afiliações: 2
Tipo de documento:
FEB 17 2016.
Citações Web of Science:
Snakes are a highly successful group of vertebrates, within great diversity in habitat, diet, and morphology. The unique adaptations for the snake skull for ingesting large prey in more primitive macrostomatan snakes have been well documented. However, subsequent diversification in snake cranial shape in relation to dietary specializations has rarely been studied (e.g. piscivory in natricine snakes). Here we examine a large clade of snakes with a broad spectrum of diet preferences to test if diet preferences are correlated to shape variation in snake skulls. Specifically, we studied the Xenodontinae snakes, a speciose clade of South American snakes, which show a broad range of diets including invertebrates, amphibians, snakes, lizards, and small mammals. We characterized the skull morphology of 19 species of xenodontine snakes using geometric morphometric techniques, and used phylogenetic comparative methods to test the association between diet and skull morphology. Using phylogenetic partial least squares analysis (PPLS) we show that skull morphology is highly associated with diet preferences in xenodontine snakes. (AU)