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Orbit orientation in didelphid marsupials (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae)

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Autor(es):
Pilatti, Patricia ; Astua, Diego
Número total de Autores: 2
Tipo de documento: Artigo Científico
Fonte: CURRENT ZOOLOGY; v. 63, n. 4, p. 403-415, AUG 2017.
Citações Web of Science: 2
Resumo

Usually considered a morphologically conservative group, didelphid marsupials present considerable variation in ecology and body size, some of which were shown to relate to morphological structures. Thus, changes on orbit morphology are likely and could be related to that variation. We calculated orbit orientation in 873 specimens of 16 Didelphidae genera yielding estimates of orbits convergence (their position relative to midsagittal line) and verticality (their position relative to frontal plane). We then compared similarities in these variables across taxa to ecological, morphological and phylogenetic data to evaluate the influencing factors on orbit orientation in didelphids. We found an inverse relation between convergence and verticality. Didelphids orbits have low verticality but are highly convergent, yet orbit orientation differs significantly between taxa, and that variation is related to morphological aspects of the cranium. Rostral variables are the only morphological features correlated with orbit orientation: increasing snout length yields more convergent orbits, whereas increase on snout breadth imply in more vertical orbits. Size and encephalization quotients are uncorrelated with orbit orientation. Among ecological data, diet showed significant correlation whereas locomotion is the factor that less affects the position of orbits. Phylogeny is uncorrelated to any orbital parameters measured. Ecological factors seemingly play a more important role on orbit orientation than previously expected, and differentiation on orbit orientation seems to be more functional than inherited. Thus, despite the apparent homogeneity on didelphid morphology, there is subtle morphological variability that may be directly related to feeding behavior. (AU)

Processo FAPESP: 00/11444-7 - Aplicações da morfometria geométrica para o estudo da evolução da forma do crânio e esqueleto pós-craniano de marsupiais americanos
Beneficiário:Diego Astúa de Moraes
Linha de fomento: Bolsas no Brasil - Doutorado