Saber-toothed cats were armed with formidable weapons. They evolved a number of highly derived morphological features, most notably a pair of extremely long upper canines, which makes them unique within the felid family. Although the sabertooth character evolved several times among carnivorous mammals, sabertooth clades mostly had disjunctive occurrences both in space and time, and no sabertooth is alive today. We studied the rates of phenotypic and taxonomic diversification in the mandible of sabertooths, as compared to the rates calculated for both extinct and extant conical toothed cats. We found that the mandible's shape and physical properties in sabertooth clades evolved at distinctly higher rates than the rest of the felid tree. In addition, sabertooths had similar speciation rate to conical toothed cats, but statistically higher extinction rate. The wealth of morphological specializations required to be a sabertooth, and their tendency to focus on large-sized species as prey, was ikely responsible for such high extinction rate, and for the peculiar, disjunctive patterns of sabertooth clade occurrence in the fossil record.

Evolution of the sabertooth mandible. a deadly ecomorphological specialization / Piras, Paolo; Silvestro, Daniele; Carotenuto, Francesco; Castiglione, Silvia; Kotsakis, Anastassios; Maiorino, Leonardo; Melchionna, Marina; Mondanaro, Alessandro; Sansalone, Gabriele; Serio, Carmela; Vero, Veronica Anna; Raia, Pasquale. - 496:(2018), pp. 166-174. [10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.01.034]

Evolution of the sabertooth mandible. a deadly ecomorphological specialization

Piras, Paolo;CAROTENUTO, FRANCESCO;Raia, Pasquale
2018

Abstract

Saber-toothed cats were armed with formidable weapons. They evolved a number of highly derived morphological features, most notably a pair of extremely long upper canines, which makes them unique within the felid family. Although the sabertooth character evolved several times among carnivorous mammals, sabertooth clades mostly had disjunctive occurrences both in space and time, and no sabertooth is alive today. We studied the rates of phenotypic and taxonomic diversification in the mandible of sabertooths, as compared to the rates calculated for both extinct and extant conical toothed cats. We found that the mandible's shape and physical properties in sabertooth clades evolved at distinctly higher rates than the rest of the felid tree. In addition, sabertooths had similar speciation rate to conical toothed cats, but statistically higher extinction rate. The wealth of morphological specializations required to be a sabertooth, and their tendency to focus on large-sized species as prey, was ikely responsible for such high extinction rate, and for the peculiar, disjunctive patterns of sabertooth clade occurrence in the fossil record.
2018
Extinction rate; felidae; machairodontinae; phenotypic evolutionary rate; rrphylo; speciation rate; oceanography; ecology, evolution, behavior and systematics; earth-surface processes; paleontology
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Evolution of the sabertooth mandible. a deadly ecomorphological specialization / Piras, Paolo; Silvestro, Daniele; Carotenuto, Francesco; Castiglione, Silvia; Kotsakis, Anastassios; Maiorino, Leonardo; Melchionna, Marina; Mondanaro, Alessandro; Sansalone, Gabriele; Serio, Carmela; Vero, Veronica Anna; Raia, Pasquale. - 496:(2018), pp. 166-174. [10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.01.034]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1094220
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