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East African cichlid fishes represent one of the most striking examples of rapid and convergent evolutionary radiation among vertebrates. Models of ecological speciation would suggest that functional divergence in feeding morphology has contributed to the origin and maintenance of cichlid species diversity. However, definitive evidence for the action of(More)
Lake Malawi contains a flock of >500 species of cichlid fish that have evolved from a common ancestor within the last million years. The rapid diversification of this group has been attributed to morphological adaptation and to sexual selection, but the relative timing and importance of these mechanisms is not known. A phylogeny of the group would help(More)
African cichlid fishes have repeatedly evolved highly specialized modes of feeding through adaptations of their oral jaws. Here, we explore the molecular genetic basis of the opening and closing lever mechanisms of the cichlid lower jaw, which have traditionally been used to describe the mechanics of feeding behavior in bony fishes. Quantitative genetic(More)
BACKGROUND How particular changes in functional morphology can repeatedly promote ecological diversification is an active area of evolutionary investigation. The African rift-lake cichlids offer a calibrated time series of the most dramatic adaptive radiations of vertebrate trophic morphology yet described, and the replicate nature of these events provides(More)
BACKGROUND While bilaterality is a defining characteristic of triploblastic animals, several assemblages have managed to break this symmetry in order to exploit the adaptive peaks garnered through the lateralization of behaviour or morphology. One striking example of an evolved asymmetry in vertebrates comes from a group of scale-eating cichlid fishes from(More)
Tooth shape is a hallmark of repeated evolutionary radiations among cichlid fishes from East Africa. Cusp shape and number vary both within populations and among closely related species with different feeding behaviors and ecologies. Here, we use histology and scanning electron microscopy to chart the developmental trajectory of tooth shape differences in(More)
BACKGROUND Pedomorphism is the retention of ancestrally juvenile traits by adults in a descendant taxon. Despite its importance for evolutionary change, there are few examples of a molecular basis for this phenomenon. Notothenioids represent one of the best described species flocks among marine fishes, but their diversity is currently threatened by the(More)
East African cichlids exhibit an extraordinary level of morphological diversity. Key to their success has been a dramatic radiation in trophic biology, which has occurred rapidly and repeatedly in different lakes. In this report we take the first step in understanding the genetic basis of differences in cichlid oral jaw design. We estimate the effective(More)
East African cichlid fishes have evolved a stunning array of oral jaw morphologies. To better understand the adaptive evolution of this trait, we performed a morphological analysis of the jaws of two closely related species from Lake Malawi that have very different modes of feeding. Labeotropheus fuelleborni forages along the substrate with a "biting" mode(More)
Adaptive variation in craniofacial structure contributes to resource specialization and speciation, but the genetic loci that underlie craniofacial adaptation remain unknown. Here we show that alleles of the hedgehog pathway receptor Patched1 (Ptch1) gene are responsible for adaptive variation in the shape of the lower jaw both within and among genera of(More)