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The move of vertebrates to a terrestrial lifestyle required major adaptations in their locomotory apparatus and reproductive organs. While the fin-to-limb transition has received considerable attention, little is known about the developmental and evolutionary origins of external genitalia. Similarities in gene expression have been interpreted as a potential(More)
Complex organismal structures are organized into modules, suites of traits that develop, function, and vary in a coordinated fashion. By limiting or directing covariation among component traits, modules are expected to represent evolutionary building blocks and to play an important role in morphological diversification. But how stable are patterns of(More)
The independent evolution of similar morphologies has long been a subject of considerable interest to biologists. Does phenotypic convergence reflect the primacy of natural selection, or does development set the course of evolution by channelling variation in certain directions? Here, we examine the ontogenetic origins of relative limb length variation(More)
Studies integrating evolutionary and developmental analyses of morphological variation are of growing interest to biologists as they promise to shed fresh light on the mechanisms of morphological diversification. Sexually dimorphic traits tend to be incredibly divergent across taxa. Such diversification must arise through evolutionary modifications to sex(More)
Employing an integrative approach to investigate the evolution of morphology can yield novel perspectives not attainable from a single field of study. Studies of limb loss and body elongation in squamates (snakes and lizards) present a good example in which integrating studies of systematics and ecology with genetics and development can provide considerable(More)
The black-bellied African seedcracker, Pyrenestes ostrinus, exhibits a non-sex-related polymorphism in beak size that enables the small-, large-, and mega-billed morphs to utilize different trophic niches. The bill polymorphism between small- and large-billed individuals was previously shown to be under genetic control of a single autosomal locus with the(More)
BACKGROUND Comparative studies of amniotes have been hindered by a dearth of reptilian molecular sequences. With the genomic assembly of the green anole, Anolis carolinensis available, non-avian reptilian genes can now be compared to mammalian, avian, and amphibian homologs. Furthermore, with more than 350 extant species in the genus Anolis, anoles are an(More)
Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has undergone dramatic transformations since its emergence as a distinct discipline. This paper aims to highlight the scope, power, and future promise of evo-devo to transform and unify diverse aspects of biology. We articulate key questions at the core of eleven biological disciplines-from Evolution,(More)
The breadth of anatomical and functional diversity among amniote external genitalia has led to uncertainty about the evolutionary origins of the phallus. In several lineages, including the tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus, adults lack an intromittent phallus, raising the possibility that the amniote ancestor lacked external genitalia and reproduced using(More)
In most amniotes, the intromittent organ is a single phallus; however, squamates (lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians) have paired hemiphalluses. All amniotes studied to date initiate external genital development with the formation of paired genital swellings. In mammals, archosaurs, and turtles, these swellings merge to form a single genital tubercle, the(More)