Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On adaptive radiations and convergence

Next week I'd like to discuss a paper on the evolution of brain morphology in Neotropical monkeys. Have brains evolved towards shifting adaptive peaks? What ecological factors explain variation among present-day species? We'll see on Tuesday.

Brain shape convergence in the adaptive radiation of New World monkeys

Abstract: Primates constitute one of the most diverse mammalian clades, and a notable feature of their diversification is the evolution of brain morphology. However, the evolutionary processes and ecological factors behind these changes are largely unknown. In this work, we investigate brain shape diversification of New World monkeys during their adaptive radiation in relation to different ecological dimensions. Our results reveal that brain diversification in this clade can be explained by invoking a model of adaptive peak shifts to unique and shared optima, defined by a multidimensional ecological niche hypothesis. Particularly, we show that the evolution of convergent brain phenotypes may be related to ecological factors associated with group size (e.g., social complexity). Together, our results highlight the complexity of brain evolution and the ecological significance of brain shape changes during the evolutionary diversification of a primate clade.


Image result for tamarin monkey

Place & time : Argumentet 10:00 am

Fika as usual


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