Journal article

First evidence of convergent lifestyle signal in reptile skull roof microanatomy

Roy Ebel, Johannes Mueller, Till Ramm, Christy Hipsley, Eli Amson

BMC Biology | BMC | Published : 2020


Abstract Background The study of convergently acquired adaptations allows fundamental insight into life’s evolutionary history. Within lepidosaur reptiles—i.e. lizards, tuatara, and snakes—a fully fossorial (‘burrowing’) lifestyle has independently evolved in most major clades. However, despite their consistent use of the skull as a digging tool, cranial modifications common to all these lineages are yet to be found. In particular, bone microanatomy, although highly diagnostic for lifestyle, remains unexplored in the lepidosaur cranium. This constitutes a key gap in our understanding of their complexly interwoven ecology, morphology, and evolution. In order to..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Funding Acknowledgements

Funding R.E. and T.R. would like to thank the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes for funding their studies. E.A. is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (grant number: DFG AM 517/1-1). Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.