Journal article

Ontogenetic origins of cranial convergence between the extinct marsupial thylacine and placental gray wolf

Axel H Newton, Vera Weisbecker, Andrew J Pask, Christy A Hipsley

COMMUNICATIONS BIOLOGY | NATURE RESEARCH | Published : 2021

Abstract

Phenotypic convergence, describing the independent evolution of similar characteristics, offers unique insights into how natural selection influences developmental and molecular processes to generate shared adaptations. The extinct marsupial thylacine and placental gray wolf represent one of the most extraordinary cases of convergent evolution in mammals, sharing striking cranial similarities despite 160 million years of independent evolution. We digitally reconstructed their cranial ontogeny from birth to adulthood to examine how and when convergence arises through patterns of allometry, mosaicism, modularity, and integration. We find the thylacine and wolf crania develop along nearly paral..

View full abstract