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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)
If we wish to understand whether development influences the rate or direction of morphological evolution, we must first understand the developmental bases of morphological variation within species. However, quantitative variation in adult morphology is the product of molecular and cellular processes unfolding from embryonic development through juvenile(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)
Vertebrate developmental biologists typically rely on a limited number of model organisms to understand the evolutionary bases of morphological change. Unfortunately, a typical model system for squamates (lizards and snakes) has not yet been developed leaving many fundamental questions about morphological evolution unaddressed. New model systems would(More)
Tetrapod vertebrates possess multiple α- and β-like globin genes that are ontogenetically regulated, such that functionally distinct hemoglobin (Hb) isoforms are synthesized during different stages of development. The α- and β-like globin genes of amphibians, birds and mammals are differentially expressed during embryonic development and postnatal life, but(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)
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 unparalleled(More)