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A practical guide to sliding and surface semilandmarks in morphometric analyses

Bardua, C; Felice, RN; Watanabe, A; Fabre, A-C; Goswami, A; (2019) A practical guide to sliding and surface semilandmarks in morphometric analyses. Integrative Organismal Biology 10.1093/iob/obz016. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Advances in imaging technologies, such as computed tomography (CT) and surface scanning, have facilitated the rapid generation of large datasets of high-resolution 3D specimen reconstructions in recent years. The wealth of phenotypic information available from these datasets has the potential to inform our understanding of morphological variation and evolution. However, the ever-increasing ease of compiling 3D datasets has created an urgent need for sophisticated methods of capturing high-density shape data that reflect the biological complexity in form. Landmarks often do not take full advantage of the rich shape information available from high-resolution 3D specimen reconstructions, as they are typically restricted to sutures or processes that can be reliably identified across specimens and exclude most of the surficial morphology. The development of sliding and surface semilandmark techniques has greatly enhanced the quantification of shape, but their application to diverse datasets can be challenging, especially when dealing with the variable absence of some regions within a structure. Using comprehensive 3D datasets of crania that span the entire clades of birds, squamates and caecilians, we demonstrate methods for capturing morphology across incredibly diverse shapes. We detail many of the difficulties associated with applying semilandmarks to comparable regions across highly disparate structures, and provide solutions to some of these challenges, while considering the consequences of decisions one makes in applying these approaches. Finally, we analyse the benefits of high-density sliding semilandmark approaches over landmark-only studies for capturing shape across diverse organisms and discuss the promise of these approaches for the study of organismal form.

Type: Article
Title: A practical guide to sliding and surface semilandmarks in morphometric analyses
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/iob/obz016
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/iob/obz016
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10077649
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