Rapid morphological evolution in placental mammals post-dates the origin of the crown group

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Rapid morphological evolution in placental mammals post-dates the origin of the crown group. / Halliday, Thomas J. D.; dos Reis, Mario; Tamuri, Asif; Ferguson-Gow, Henry; Yang, Ziheng; Goswami, Anjali.

In: Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences, Vol. 286, No. 1898, 20182418, 06.03.2019.

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Halliday, Thomas J. D. ; dos Reis, Mario ; Tamuri, Asif ; Ferguson-Gow, Henry ; Yang, Ziheng ; Goswami, Anjali. / Rapid morphological evolution in placental mammals post-dates the origin of the crown group. In: Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences. 2019 ; Vol. 286, No. 1898.

Bibtex

@article{b40cab15f1674363b47b16b04fd7ac4a,
title = "Rapid morphological evolution in placental mammals post-dates the origin of the crown group",
abstract = "Resolving the timing and pattern of early placental mammal evolution has been confounded by conflict among divergence date estimates from interpretation of the fossil record and from molecular-clock dating studies. Despite both fossil occurrences and molecular sequences favouring a Cretaceous origin for Placentalia, no unambiguous Cretaceous placental mammal has been discovered. Investigating the differing patterns of evolution in morphological and molecular data reveals a possible explanation for this conflict. Here, we quantified the relationship between morphological and molecular rates of evolution. We show that, independent of divergence dates, morphological rates of evolution were slow relative to molecular evolution during the initial divergence of Placentalia, but substantially increased during the origination of the extant orders. The rapid radiation of placentals into a highly morphologically disparate Cenozoic fauna is thus not associated with the origin of Placentalia, but post-dates superordinal origins. These findings predict that early members of major placental groups may not be easily distinguishable from one another or from stem eutherians on the basis of skeleto-dental morphology. This result supports a Late Cretaceous origin of crown placentals with an ordinal-level adaptive radiation in the early Paleocene, with the high relative rate permitting rapid anatomical change without requiring unreasonably fast molecular evolutionary rates. The lack of definitive Cretaceous placental mammals may be a result of morphological similarity among stem and early crown eutherians, providing an avenue for reconciling the fossil record with molecular divergence estimates for Placentalia.",
keywords = "Placentalia, evolution, morphology, molecular clock, palaeontology, rate",
author = "Halliday, {Thomas J. D.} and {dos Reis}, Mario and Asif Tamuri and Henry Ferguson-Gow and Ziheng Yang and Anjali Goswami",
year = "2019",
month = mar,
day = "6",
doi = "10.1098/rspb.2018.2418",
language = "English",
volume = "286",
journal = "Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences",
issn = "0962-8452",
publisher = "The Royal Society",
number = "1898",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Rapid morphological evolution in placental mammals post-dates the origin of the crown group

AU - Halliday, Thomas J. D.

AU - dos Reis, Mario

AU - Tamuri, Asif

AU - Ferguson-Gow, Henry

AU - Yang, Ziheng

AU - Goswami, Anjali

PY - 2019/3/6

Y1 - 2019/3/6

N2 - Resolving the timing and pattern of early placental mammal evolution has been confounded by conflict among divergence date estimates from interpretation of the fossil record and from molecular-clock dating studies. Despite both fossil occurrences and molecular sequences favouring a Cretaceous origin for Placentalia, no unambiguous Cretaceous placental mammal has been discovered. Investigating the differing patterns of evolution in morphological and molecular data reveals a possible explanation for this conflict. Here, we quantified the relationship between morphological and molecular rates of evolution. We show that, independent of divergence dates, morphological rates of evolution were slow relative to molecular evolution during the initial divergence of Placentalia, but substantially increased during the origination of the extant orders. The rapid radiation of placentals into a highly morphologically disparate Cenozoic fauna is thus not associated with the origin of Placentalia, but post-dates superordinal origins. These findings predict that early members of major placental groups may not be easily distinguishable from one another or from stem eutherians on the basis of skeleto-dental morphology. This result supports a Late Cretaceous origin of crown placentals with an ordinal-level adaptive radiation in the early Paleocene, with the high relative rate permitting rapid anatomical change without requiring unreasonably fast molecular evolutionary rates. The lack of definitive Cretaceous placental mammals may be a result of morphological similarity among stem and early crown eutherians, providing an avenue for reconciling the fossil record with molecular divergence estimates for Placentalia.

AB - Resolving the timing and pattern of early placental mammal evolution has been confounded by conflict among divergence date estimates from interpretation of the fossil record and from molecular-clock dating studies. Despite both fossil occurrences and molecular sequences favouring a Cretaceous origin for Placentalia, no unambiguous Cretaceous placental mammal has been discovered. Investigating the differing patterns of evolution in morphological and molecular data reveals a possible explanation for this conflict. Here, we quantified the relationship between morphological and molecular rates of evolution. We show that, independent of divergence dates, morphological rates of evolution were slow relative to molecular evolution during the initial divergence of Placentalia, but substantially increased during the origination of the extant orders. The rapid radiation of placentals into a highly morphologically disparate Cenozoic fauna is thus not associated with the origin of Placentalia, but post-dates superordinal origins. These findings predict that early members of major placental groups may not be easily distinguishable from one another or from stem eutherians on the basis of skeleto-dental morphology. This result supports a Late Cretaceous origin of crown placentals with an ordinal-level adaptive radiation in the early Paleocene, with the high relative rate permitting rapid anatomical change without requiring unreasonably fast molecular evolutionary rates. The lack of definitive Cretaceous placental mammals may be a result of morphological similarity among stem and early crown eutherians, providing an avenue for reconciling the fossil record with molecular divergence estimates for Placentalia.

KW - Placentalia

KW - evolution

KW - morphology

KW - molecular clock

KW - palaeontology

KW - rate

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85062629093&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1098/rspb.2018.2418

DO - 10.1098/rspb.2018.2418

M3 - Article

VL - 286

JO - Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences

JF - Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences

SN - 0962-8452

IS - 1898

M1 - 20182418

ER -