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Evolutionary developmental biology and morphology

Section edited by David Ferrier

This section considers studies in the evolution of development and developmental processes, and into morphological evolution.

Page 1 of 4

  1. Fangs are a putative key innovation that revolutionized prey capture and feeding in snakes, and – along with their associated venom phenotypes – have made snakes perhaps the most medically-significant vertebra...

    Authors: Erin P. Westeen, Andrew M. Durso, Michael C. Grundler, Daniel L. Rabosky and Alison R. Davis Rabosky

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2020 20:80

    Content type: Research article

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  2. Metamorphosis remains one of the most complicated and poorly understood processes in insects. This is particularly so for the very dynamic transformations that take place within the pupal sheath of holometabol...

    Authors: Chenjing Zhao, Yuchen Ang, Mengqing Wang, Caixia Gao, Kuiyan Zhang, Chufei Tang, Xingyue Liu, Min Li, Ding Yang and Rudolf Meier

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2020 20:79

    Content type: Research article

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  3. Poecilogony, the presence of two developmental modes in the same animal species, is a rare phenomenon. Few cases of poecilogony have been suggested for marine invertebrates including molluscs and even less sto...

    Authors: Benedikt Wiggering, Marco T. Neiber, Katharina Gebauer and Matthias Glaubrecht

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2020 20:76

    Content type: Research article

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  4. The remarkable abilities of the human brain are distinctive features that set us apart from other animals. However, our understanding of how the brain has changed in the human lineage remains incomplete, but i...

    Authors: Ming-Li Li, Hui Tang, Yong Shao, Ming-Shan Wang, Hai-Bo Xu, Sheng Wang, David M. Irwin, Adeniyi C. Adeola, Tao Zeng, Luonan Chen, Yan Li and Dong-Dong Wu

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2020 20:72

    Content type: Research article

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  5. The Chengjiang biota is one of the most species-rich Cambrian Konservat-Lagerstätten, and preserves a community dominated by non-biomineralized euarthropods. However, several Chengjiang euarthropods have an un...

    Authors: Yu Liu, Javier Ortega-Hernández, Hong Chen, Huijuan Mai, Dayou Zhai and Xianguang Hou

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2020 20:62

    Content type: Research article

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  6. Tooth morphology within theropod dinosaurs has been extensively investigated and shows high disparity throughout the Cretaceous. Changes or diversification in feeding ecology, i.e., adoption of an herbivorous ...

    Authors: Zhiheng Li, Chun-Chieh Wang, Min Wang, Cheng-Cheng Chiang, Yan Wang, Xiaoting Zheng, E-Wen Huang, Kiko Hsiao and Zhonghe Zhou

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2020 20:46

    Content type: Research article

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  7. Evolutionary transitions in temporal niche necessitates specialized morphology, physiology, and behaviors. Diurnal, heliothermic squamates (lizards and snakes) that bask require protection from ultraviolet rad...

    Authors: Aaron H. Griffing, Tony Gamble and Aaron M. Bauer

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2020 20:40

    Content type: Research article

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  8. Bird plumage exhibits a diversity of colors that serve functional roles ranging from signaling to camouflage and thermoregulation. However, birds must maintain a balance between evolving colorful signals to at...

    Authors: Jon T. Merwin, Glenn F. Seeholzer and Brian Tilston Smith

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2020 20:32

    Content type: Research article

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  9. Temperature exerts a strong influence on protein evolution: species living in thermally distinct environments often exhibit adaptive differences in protein structure and function. However, previous research on...

    Authors: Ying-Chen Chao, Melanie Merritt, Devin Schaefferkoetter and Tyler G. Evans

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2020 20:28

    Content type: Research article

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  10. The evolution of the Jehol Biota of western Liaoning in China includes three phases, initiation in the Dabeigou phase, radiation in the Yixian phase, and decline in the Jiufotang phase. Numerous ephedroid macr...

    Authors: Yong Yang, Yingwei Wang and David Kay Ferguson

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2020 20:19

    Content type: Research article

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  11. Chondrichthyans represent a monophyletic group of crown group gnathostomes and are central to our understanding of vertebrate evolution. Like all vertebrates, cartilaginous fishes evolved concretions of materi...

    Authors: Lisa Schnetz, Cathrin Pfaff, Eugen Libowitzky, Zerina Johanson, Rica Stepanek and Jürgen Kriwet

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:238

    Content type: Research article

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  12. Palaeognathae is a basal clade within Aves and include the large and flightless ratites and the smaller, volant tinamous. Although much research has been conducted on various aspects of palaeognath morphology,...

    Authors: Phoebe L. McInerney, Michael S. Y. Lee, Alice M. Clement and Trevor H. Worthy

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:233

    Content type: Research article

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  13. Recently we proposed an evolutionary explanation for a spinal pathology that afflicts many people, intervertebral disc herniation (Plomp et al. [2015] BMC Evolutionary Biology 15, 68). Using 2D data, we found tha...

    Authors: Kimberly A. Plomp, Keith Dobney, Darlene A. Weston, Una Strand Viðarsdóttir and Mark Collard

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:226

    Content type: Research article

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  14. Many pathologies that modify the shell geometry and ornamentation of ammonoids are known from the fossil record. Since they may reflect the developmental response of the organism to a perturbation (usually a s...

    Authors: Romain Jattiot, Emmanuel Fara, Arnaud Brayard, Séverine Urdy and Nicolas Goudemand

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:210

    Content type: Research article

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  15. Two previous studies on interspecific body size variation of anurans found that the key drivers of variation are the species’ lifestyles and the environments that they live in. To examine whether those finding...

    Authors: Cheng Guo, Shuai Gao, Ali Krzton and Long Zhang

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:208

    Content type: Research article

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  16. Parasite attachment structures are critical traits that influence effective host exploitation and survival. Morphology of attachment structures can reinforce host specificity and niche specialisation, or even ...

    Authors: Charles Baillie, Rachel L. Welicky, Kerry A. Hadfield, Nico J. Smit, Stefano Mariani and Robin M. D. Beck

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:207

    Content type: Research Article

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  17. Tardigrada is a group of microscopic invertebrates distributed worldwide in permanent and temporal aquatic habitats. Famous for their extreme stress tolerance, tardigrades are also of interest due to their clo...

    Authors: Dennis Krog Persson, Kenneth Agerlin Halberg, Ricardo Cardoso Neves, Aslak Jørgensen, Reinhardt Møbjerg Kristensen and Nadja Møbjerg

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:206

    Content type: Research article

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  18. Odontocetes (toothed whales) are the most species-rich marine mammal lineage. The catalyst for their evolutionary success is echolocation - a form of biological sonar that uses high-frequency sound, produced i...

    Authors: Travis Park, Bastien Mennecart, Loïc Costeur, Camille Grohé and Natalie Cooper

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:195

    Content type: Research article

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  19. Hybridization has been widely practiced in plant and animal breeding as a means to enhance the quality and fitness of the organisms. In domestic equids, this hybrid vigor takes the form of improved physical an...

    Authors: Pauline Hanot, Anthony Herrel, Claude Guintard and Raphaël Cornette

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:188

    Content type: Research article

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  20. Understanding the mechanisms promoting or constraining morphological diversification within clades is a central topic in evolutionary biology. Ecological transitions are of particular interest because of their...

    Authors: Gabriele Sansalone, Paolo Colangelo, Anna Loy, Pasquale Raia, Stephen Wroe and Paolo Piras

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:179

    Content type: Research article

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  21. The annelid anterior central nervous system is often described to consist of a dorsal prostomial brain, consisting of several commissures and connected to the ventral ganglionic nerve cord via circumesophageal...

    Authors: Patrick Beckers, Conrad Helm and Thomas Bartolomaeus

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:173

    Content type: Research article

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  22. Little is known about the long-term patterns of body size evolution in Crocodylomorpha, the > 200-million-year-old group that includes living crocodylians and their extinct relatives. Extant crocodylians are m...

    Authors: Pedro L. Godoy, Roger B. J. Benson, Mario Bronzati and Richard J. Butler

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:167

    Content type: Research article

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  23. Cetaceans exhibit an exceptionally wide range of body size, yet in this regard, their genetic basis remains poorly explored. In this study, 20 body-size-related genes for which duplication, mutation, or defici...

    Authors: Yingying Sun, Yanzhi Liu, Xiaohui Sun, Yurui Lin, Daiqing Yin, Shixia Xu and Guang Yang

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:157

    Content type: Research article

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  24. Most fatty acids (FAs) making up the adipose tissue in mammals have a dietary origin and suffer little modification when they are stored. However, we propose that some of those FAs, specifically those that can...

    Authors: Alicia I. Guerrero and Tracey L. Rogers

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:155

    Content type: Research article

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  25. Understanding how variation in gene expression contributes to morphological diversity is a major goal in evolutionary biology. Cichlid fishes from the East African Great lakes exhibit striking diversity in tro...

    Authors: Ehsan Pashay Ahi, Pooja Singh, Anna Duenser, Wolfgang Gessl and Christian Sturmbauer

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:150

    Content type: Research article

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  26. Volvocine algae provide a suitable model for investigation of the evolution of multicellular organisms. Within this group, evolution of the body plan from flattened to spheroidal colonies is thought to have oc...

    Authors: Shota Yamashita and Hisayoshi Nozaki

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:120

    Content type: Research article

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  27. The branchiostegal series consists of an alignment of bony elements in the posterior portion of the skull of osteichthyan vertebrates. We trace the evolution of the number of elements in a comprehensive survey...

    Authors: Eduardo Ascarrunz, Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra, Ricardo Betancur-R and Michel Laurin

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:117

    Content type: Research article

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  28. Male genitals have repeatedly evolved left-right asymmetries, and the causes of such evolution remain unclear. The Drosophila nannoptera group contains four species, among which three exhibit left-right asymmetri...

    Authors: Andrea E. Acurio, Flor T. Rhebergen, Sarah Paulus, Virginie Courtier-Orgogozo and Michael Lang

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:109

    Content type: Research article

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  29. Sparid fishes of the genus Diplodus show a complex life history. Juveniles have adaptations well suited to life in the water column. When fishes recruit into the adult population, individuals develop a radically ...

    Authors: Paolo Colangelo, Daniele Ventura, Paolo Piras, Jacopo Pagani Guazzugli Bonaiuti and Giandomenico Ardizzone

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:106

    Content type: Research article

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  30. The Psittaciformes (parrots and cockatoos) are characterised by their large beaks, and are renowned for their ability to produce high bite forces. These birds also possess a suite of modifications to their cra...

    Authors: Jen A. Bright, Jesús Marugán-Lobón, Emily J. Rayfield and Samuel N. Cobb

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:104

    Content type: Research article

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  31. Color and pattern phenotypes have clear implications for survival and reproduction in many species. However, the mechanisms that produce this coloration are still poorly characterized, especially at the genomi...

    Authors: Adam M. M. Stuckert, Emily Moore, Kaitlin P. Coyle, Ian Davison, Matthew D. MacManes, Reade Roberts and Kyle Summers

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:85

    Content type: Research article

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  32. Many species of snakes exhibit epidermal surface nanostructures that form complex motifs conferring self-cleaning properties, and sometimes structural iridescence, to their skin.

    Authors: Marcelle I. Arrigo, Luis M. De Oliveira Vilaca, Anamarija Fofonjka, Achyuthan N. Srikanthan, Adrien Debry and Michel C. Milinkovitch

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:91

    Content type: Research article

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  33. Self-powered flight is one of the most energy-intensive types of locomotion found in vertebrates. It is also associated with a range of extreme morpho-physiological adaptations that evolved independently in th...

    Authors: Camilo López-Aguirre, Suzanne J. Hand, Daisuke Koyabu, Nguyen Truong Son and Laura A. B. Wilson

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:75

    Content type: Research article

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  34. In species that reproduce with sexual reproduction, males and females often have opposite strategies to maximize their own fitness. For instance, males are typically expected to maximize their number of mating...

    Authors: Margot Fortin, Joël Meunier, Tiffany Laverré, Catherine Souty-Grosset and Freddie-Jeanne Richard

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:65

    Content type: Research article

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  35. Caecilians (Gymnophiona) are the least speciose extant lissamphibian order, yet living forms capture approximately 250 million years of evolution since their earliest divergences. This long history is reflecte...

    Authors: Carla Bardua, Mark Wilkinson, David J. Gower, Emma Sherratt and Anjali Goswami

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:30

    Content type: Research article

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  36. The evolution of elongated body forms in tetrapods has a strong influence on the musculoskeletal system, including the reduction of pelvic and pectoral girdles, as well as the limbs. However, despite extensive...

    Authors: Natascha Westphal, Kristin Mahlow, Jason James Head and Johannes Müller

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:16

    Content type: Research article

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  37. Chasmataspidids are a rare group of chelicerate arthropods known from 12 species assigned to ten genera, with a geologic range extending from the Ordovician to the Devonian. The Late Ordovician (Richmondian) f...

    Authors: James C. Lamsdell, Gerald O. Gunderson and Ronald C. Meyer

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:8

    Content type: Research article

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  38. Morphological diversity among closely related animals can be the result of differing growth patterns. The Australian radiation of agamid lizards (Amphibolurinae) exhibits great ecological and morphological div...

    Authors: Jaimi A. Gray, Emma Sherratt, Mark N. Hutchinson and Marc E. H. Jones

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2019 19:7

    Content type: Research article

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  39. Several lineages of herbivorous mammals have evolved hypsodont cheek teeth to increase the functional lifespan of their dentition. While the selective drivers of this trend and the developmental processes invo...

    Authors: Carsten Witzel, Uwe Kierdorf, Kai Frölich and Horst Kierdorf

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2018 18:207

    Content type: Research article

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  40. The Sox family of transcription factors is an important part of the genetic ‘toolbox’ of all metazoans examined to date and is known to play important developmental roles in vertebrates and insects. However, o...

    Authors: Christian L. Bonatto Paese, Daniel J. Leite, Anna Schönauer, Alistair P. McGregor and Steven Russell

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2018 18:205

    Content type: Research article

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  41. Dictyostelid cellular slime molds (dictyostelids) are common inhabitants of the soil and leaf litter layer of fields and forests, along with animal dung, where they feed mostly on bacteria. However, reports on...

    Authors: Eduardo Vadell, James C. Cavender, John C. Landolt, Allison L. Perrigo, Pu Liu and Steven L. Stephenson

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2018 18:198

    Content type: Research article

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  42. Ependymins were originally defined as fish-specific secreted glycoproteins involved in central nervous system plasticity and memory formation. Subsequent research revealed that these proteins represent a fish-...

    Authors: Carmel McDougall, Michael J. Hammond, Simon C. Dailey, Ildiko M. L. Somorjai, Scott F. Cummins and Bernard M. Degnan

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2018 18:182

    Content type: Research article

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  43. One of the best studied developmental processes is the Drosophila segmentation cascade. However, this cascade is generally considered to be highly derived and unusual, with segments being patterned simultaneously...

    Authors: Tzach Auman and Ariel D. Chipman

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2018 18:178

    Content type: Research article

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  44. The axial skeleton consists of repeating units (vertebrae) that are integrated through their development and evolution. Unlike most tetrapods, vertebrae in the mammalian trunk are subdivided into distinct thor...

    Authors: Katrina E. Jones, Lorena Benitez, Kenneth D. Angielczyk and Stephanie E. Pierce

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2018 18:172

    Content type: Research article

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  45. Opsins are G protein-coupled receptors used for both visual and non-visual photoreception, and these proteins evolutionarily date back to the base of the bilaterians. In the current sequencing age, phylogenomi...

    Authors: Elijah K. Lowe, Anders L. Garm, Esther Ullrich-Lüter, Claudia Cuomo and Maria I. Arnone

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2018 18:168

    Content type: Research article

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  46. Nucleoplasmin 2 (npm2) is an essential maternal-effect gene that mediates early embryonic events through its function as a histone chaperone that remodels chromatin. Recently, two npm2 (npm2a and npm2b) genes hav...

    Authors: Caroline T. Cheung, Jérémy Pasquier, Aurélien Bouleau, Thaovi Nguyen, Franck Chesnel, Yann Guiguen and Julien Bobe

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2018 18:167

    Content type: Research article

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  47. Micro RNAs (miRNAs) and piwi interacting RNAs (piRNAs), along with the more ancient eukaryotic endogenous small interfering RNAs (endo-siRNAs) constitute the principal components of the RNA interference (RNAi)...

    Authors: Andrew D. Calcino, Selene L. Fernandez-Valverde, Ryan J. Taft and Bernard M. Degnan

    Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology 2018 18:160

    Content type: Research article

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