Morfološka varijabilnost i obrasci korelacija elemenata ekstremiteta bezrepih vodozemaca (Anura, Amphibia)
Morphological variability and patterns of correlation in limb elements of tailess amphibians (Anura, Amphibia)
Doctoral thesis (Published version)
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This study summarized inter- and intraspecific morphological variability of anuran limbs in relation to selective pressures of locomotion and reproduction. Morphological variability of limb traits is directly related to the locomotor mode used in aquatic, terrestrial and arboreal environments, and indirectly to the differences between the sexes and the features of life histories. Analyses of sexual dimorphism of locomotor traits revealed differences in size and shape only for forelimbs. The absence of significant differences for hindlimb and sacral traits indicate constraints in intraspecific variability of these traits, which can be result of specialization to saltatorial locomotion. Comparison of the morphological variability of locomotor types (walkers and jumpers) highlighted the importance of hindlimbs, the proximal and medial elements of the forelimbs, as well as the features of the pelvic vertebra, in movement and definition of the morphology of the locomotor types in Anurans. The analysis of morphological integration showed that natural selection has the highest influence on the correlation structure of anurans, archived mainly through the specialization for jump, but also through other locomotor activities that are related to different preferences for habitat type. Even though there was a relationship between phylogenetic history of species and ecological preferences significant influence of phylogenetic relationships of species on the level and patterns of limb correlations was not observed. In conclusion, this study demonstrated the significant influence of locomotion and reproduction in shaping variability of limbs of anurans, contributing to the understanding of evolutionary changes that this group went through.
Keywords:Morphological variability; Limbs; Anura; Sexual dimorphism; Locomotion; Morphological integration
Source:University of Belgrade, Faculty of Biology, 2020, 1-65