Lars Schmitz

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Variation in daily activity patterns facilitates temporal partitioning of habitat and resources among species. Knowledge of temporal niche partitioning in paleobiological systems has been limited by the difficulty of obtaining reliable information about activity patterns from fossils. On the basis of an analysis of scleral ring and orbit morphology in 33(More)
Ambient light levels are often considered to drive the evolution of eye form and function. Diel activity pattern is the main mechanism controlling the visual environment of teleost reef fish, with day-active (diurnal) fish active in well-illuminated conditions, whereas night-active (nocturnal) fish cope with dim light. Physiological optics predicts several(More)
The genetic mechanisms underlying regressive evolution-the degeneration or loss of a derived trait--are largely unknown, particularly for complex structures such as eyes in cave organisms. In several eyeless animals, the visual photoreceptor rhodopsin appears to have retained functional amino acid sequences. Hypotheses to explain apparent maintenance of(More)
Eyes are expected to be adapted to the physical characteristics of the visual environment, yet previous analyses failed to corroborate this observation. We demonstrate that nocturnal, crepuscular/cathemeral, and diurnal activity patterns occupy distinct areas in morphospace and are identified with high accuracies based on a discriminant analysis of visual(More)
Phylogeny is deeply pertinent to evolutionary studies. Traits that perform a body function are expected to be strongly influenced by physical "requirements" of the function. We investigated if such traits exhibit phylogenetic signals, and, if so, how phylogenetic noises bias quantification of form-function relationships. A form-function system that is(More)
The biotic recovery from Earth's most severe extinction event at the Permian-Triassic boundary largely reestablished the preextinction structure of marine trophic networks, with marine reptiles assuming the predator roles. However, the highest trophic level of today's marine ecosystems, i.e., macropredatory tetrapods that forage on prey of similar size to(More)
The eyes of giant and colossal squid are among the largest eyes in the history of life. It was recently proposed that sperm whale predation is the main driver of eye size evolution in giant squid, on the basis of an optical model that suggested optimal performance in detecting large luminous visual targets such as whales in the deep sea. However, it is(More)
Zooplanktivory is one of the most distinct trophic niches in coral reef fishes, and a number of skull traits are widely recognized as being adaptations for feeding in midwater on small planktonic prey. Previous studies have concluded that zooplanktivores have larger eyes for sharper visual acuity, reduced mouth structures to match small prey sizes, and(More)
Living reef fishes are one of the most diverse vertebrate assemblages on Earth. Despite its prominence and ecological importance, the origins and assembly of the reef fish fauna is poorly described. A patchy fossil record suggests that the major colonization of reef habitats must have occurred in the Late Cretaceous and early Palaeogene, with the earliest(More)