Autopodial skeletal diversity in hystricognath rodents: Functional and phylogenetic aspects

Weisbecker, V. and Schmid, S (2007) Autopodial skeletal diversity in hystricognath rodents: Functional and phylogenetic aspects. Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde, 72 (1). pp. 27-44. DOI

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Metapodials and phalanges of the second to fourth digital ray were measured for the hands and feet of 214 specimens belonging to 45 extant species of hystricognath rodents, encompassing members of all major clades of the radiation. Principal components analysis (PCA), the phalangeal index of the third digital ray in the hands and feet, and the relationship between second and fourth digital ray were used to investigate intrinsic autopodial proportions as well as to provide a base for comparisons between hands and feet. PCA separated cursorial Hystricognathi from arboreal ones, but lead to little distinction in other locomotory modes. Cursors have longer metapodials and shorter phalanges, particularly in their hind limb, while arboreal species have relatively longer manual and pedal phalanges. Terrestrial, scansorial, fossorial, and semi-aquatic species were not clearly distinguished, but there is a tendency towards elongated manual digits and relatively short feet in most fossorial species. Closely related species with similar locomotory habits tend to group together in PCA morphospace, and also have similar phalangeal indices. The results are in agreement with current hypotheses on Locomotory adaptations of the hand and foot, and concur with many previous findings on autopodial proportions in arboreal, cursorial, and fossorial species. They also highlight the limited use of autopodial proportions for inferring systematic affinities. The Lack of distinction in the majority of species is Likely related to the Lack of highly specialized locomotory types in Hystricognathi. (c) 2006 Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Saugetierkunde. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NIL AREP
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
Journal or Publication Title: Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde
Volume: 72
Page Range: pp. 27-44
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2009 09:36
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:55

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