Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: Global elongation and high shape flexibility as an evolutionary hypothesis of accommodating mammalian brains into skulls
Author: Weisbecker, V.
Rowe, T.
Wroe, S.
Macrini, T.
Garland, K.
Travouillon, K.
Black, K.
Archer, M.
Hand, S.
Berlin, J.
Beck, R.
Ladevèze, S.
Sharp, A.
Mardon, K.
Sherratt, E.
Citation: Evolution, 2021; 75(3):625-640
Publisher: Wiley Online Library
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 0014-3820
Statement of
Vera Weisbecker, Timothy Rowe, Stephen Wroe, Thomas E. Macrini, Kathleen L. S. Garland, Kenny J. Travouillon ... et al.
Abstract: Little is known about how the large brains of mammals are accommodated into the dazzling diversity of their skulls. It has been suggested that brain shape is influenced by relative brain size, that it evolves or develops according to extrinsic or intrinsic mechanical constraints, and that its shape can provide insights into its proportions and function. Here, we characterize the shape variation among 84 marsupial cranial endocasts of 57 species including fossils, using three-dimensional geometric morphomet- rics and virtual dissections. Statistical shape analysis revealed four main patterns: over half of endocast shape variation ranges from elongate and straight to globular and inclined; little allometric variation with respect to centroid size, and none for relative volume; no association between locomotion and endocast shape; limited association between endocast shape and previously pub- lished histological cortex volumes. Fossil species tend to have smaller cerebral hemispheres. We find divergent endocast shapes in closely related species and within species, and diverse morphologies superimposed over the main variation. An evolutionarily and individually malleable brain with a fundamental tendency to arrange into a spectrum of elongate-to-globular shapes—possibly mostly independent of brain function—may explain the accommodation of brains within the enormous diversity of mammalian skull form
Keywords: Allometry; brain; geometric morphometrics; marsupials; neocortex; spatial packing
Rights: © 2021 The Authors. Evolution © 2021 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
DOI: 10.1111/evo.14163
Grant ID:
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
Environment Institute publications

Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.