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Evolution of body morphology and beak shape revealed by a morphometric analysis of 14 Paridae species

Overview of attention for article published in Frontiers in Zoology, June 2016
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Title
Evolution of body morphology and beak shape revealed by a morphometric analysis of 14 Paridae species
Published in
Frontiers in Zoology, June 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12983-016-0162-0
Pubmed ID
Authors

Shimiao Shao, Qing Quan, Tianlong Cai, Gang Song, Yanhua Qu, Fumin Lei

Abstract

Morphological characters of birds reflect their adaptive evolution and ecological requirements and are also relevant to phylogenetic relationships within a group of related species. The tits (Paridae) are known to be outwardly homogeneous in shape, with one aberrant member, the Ground Tit (Pseudopodoces humilis), which is quite different from its relatives in both body morphology and beak shape. We combined traditional measurements and geometric morphometrics to quantify the variation in body morphology and beak shape of 14 Paridae species distributed in China. Based on these results, we sought to assess the contribution of phylogeny, altitude and species interactions to the evolution of morphological traits. The basic features for discriminating among the 14 species studied here were overall body size, the ratio of body and tail length to culmen and tarsus length, and beak shape (long/slender/pointy vs. short/robust/blunt). These dimensions clearly separate Ps. humilis and Melanochlora sultanea from the other species in shape space. Body length and PC3 of beak shape (round outline vs. straight outline) show significant phylogenetic signals. Across 14 species, altitude is related to tarsus, culmen length and PC1 of beak shape. Within Parus major, altitude is related to body weight, body length, culmen length and PC1 of body morphology. Morphological distances and geographic distances among species are positively correlated. The body morphology of Paridae species shows extensive evolutionary changes, while their beak has mainly evolved along the long/slender/pointy vs. short/robust/blunt dimension. Only body length and beak curvature show a phylogenetic signal. Altitude correlates with multiple traits both across and within species, suggesting that altitude is an important factor in promoting morphological divergence. The deviant appearance of Ps. humilis corresponds to its foraging and feeding adaptations to high-altitude steppe habitats. Our results also show a higher level of morphological divergence with greater difference in distribution ranges among the Paridae species involved in this study.

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The data shown below were collected from the profile of 1 tweeter who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 91 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 91 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 18 20%
Student > Master 17 19%
Student > Ph. D. Student 15 16%
Researcher 12 13%
Professor 4 4%
Other 9 10%
Unknown 16 18%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 39 43%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 8 9%
Environmental Science 8 9%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 6 7%
Medicine and Dentistry 3 3%
Other 3 3%
Unknown 24 26%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 01 July 2016.
All research outputs
#6,900,489
of 7,974,292 outputs
Outputs from Frontiers in Zoology
#344
of 366 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#218,884
of 260,731 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Frontiers in Zoology
#13
of 14 outputs
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