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Locomotor, ecological and phylogenetic drivers of skeletal proportions in frogs

Leavey, Alice; Ruta, Marcello; Richards, Christopher T; Porro, Laura B; (2023) Locomotor, ecological and phylogenetic drivers of skeletal proportions in frogs. Journal of Anatomy , 243 (3) pp. 404-420. 10.1111/joa.13886. Green open access

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Abstract

Frogs exhibit complex anatomical features of the pelvis, limbs and spine, long assumed to represent specialisations for jumping. Yet frogs employ a wide range of locomotor modes, with several taxa featuring primary locomotor modes other than jumping. Using a combination of techniques (CT imaging and 3D visualization, morphometrics, phylogenetic mapping), this study aims to determine the link between skeletal anatomy and locomotor style, habitat type and phylogenetic history, shedding new light on how functional demands impact morphology. Body and limb measurements for 164 taxa from all the recognised anuran families are extracted from digitally segmented CT scans of whole frog skeletons and analysed using various statistical techniques. We find that the expansion of the sacral diapophyses is the most important variable for predicting locomotor mode, which was more closely correlated with frog morphology than either habitat type or phylogenetic relationships. Predictive analyses suggest that skeletal morphology is a useful indicator of jumping but less so for other locomotor modes, suggesting that there is a wide range of anatomical solutions to performing locomotor styles such as swimming, burrowing or walking.

Type: Article
Title: Locomotor, ecological and phylogenetic drivers of skeletal proportions in frogs
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/joa.13886
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/joa.13886
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Journal of Anatomy published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Anatomical Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: 3D visualization, anuran, morphometrics, predictive analysis, ratio analysis
UCL classification: UCL
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/10177281
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