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Type: Journal article
Title: Ecological correlates to cranial morphology in Leporids (Mammalia, Lagomorpha)
Author: Kraatz, B.
Sherratt, E.
Bumacod, N.
Wedel, M.
Citation: PeerJ, 2015; 3(3):1-20
Publisher: PEERJ INC
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 2167-8359
Statement of
Brian P. Kraatz​, Emma Sherratt, Nicholas Bumacod, Mathew J. Wedel
Abstract: The mammalian order Lagomorpha has been the subject of many morphometric studies aimed at understanding the relationship between form and function as it relates to locomotion, primarily in postcranial morphology. The leporid cranial skeleton, however, may also reveal information about their ecology, particularly locomotion and vision. Here we investigate the relationship between cranial shape and the degree of facial tilt with locomotion (cursoriality, saltation, and burrowing) within crown leporids. Our results suggest that facial tilt is more pronounced in cursors and saltators compared to generalists, and that increasing facial tilt may be driven by a need for expanded visual fields. Our phylogenetically informed analyses indicate that burrowing behavior, facial tilt, and locomotor behavior do not predict cranial shape. However, we find that variables such as bullae size, size of the splenius capitus fossa, and overall rostral dimensions are important components for understanding the cranial variation in leporids.
Keywords: Leporidae; cranial morphology; locomotion; lagomorpha
Rights: © Copyright 2015 Kraatz et al. Distributed under Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0
DOI: 10.7717/peerj.844
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Zoology publications

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