author={Borja Figueirido and Zhijie Jack Tseng and Alberto Mart{\'i}n‐Serra},
In this article, we investigate convergent evolution toward durophagy in carnivoran skull shape using geometric morphometrics in a sample of living and extinct species. Principal components analysis indicate that, in spite of the different dietary resources consumed by durophages—that is, bone‐crackers and bamboo‐feeders—both groups of carnivorans share portions of skull phenotypic spaces. We identify by discriminant analyses a shared set of adaptations toward durophagy in the skull of… 

Ecomorphology of Carnivora challenges convergent evolution

The quantification of evolutionary rates of changes suggests that mandible shape of solitary hunters evolved slowly when compared with other carnivorans, and the need for a strong bite force and robust mandible override sheer phylogenetic effect in solitary hunters.

Testing the occurrence of convergence in the craniomandibular shape evolution of living carnivorans

This work tested for convergence in many dietary groups and analyzed several cases of carnivoran convergence concerning either ecologically equivalent species or ecologically similar species of different body sizes described in the literature, finding that convergent evolution in this clade appears to be a rare phenomenon.

Biomechanical simulations of Leptarctus primus (Leptarctinae, Carnivora), and new evidence for a badger-like feeding capability

The first simulation of cranial biomechanics in Leptarctus primus is performed, aiming to identify a living analogue using biomechanical capability rather than qualitative morphology, and concludes that L. primus was dominantly a carnivore with an auxiliary feeding capability of omnivory.

Diet reconstruction in cave bears from craniodental morphology: past evidences, new results and future directions

ABSTRACT The diet of the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) is a controversial topic, as different paleobiological approaches (e.g. dental wear, isotopic biochemistry, skull morphometrics) result in

Repeated loss of frontal sinuses in arctoid carnivorans

Many mammal skulls contain air spaces inside the bones surrounding the nasal chamber including the frontal, maxilla, ethmoid, and sphenoid, all of which are called paranasal sinuses. Within the

Phenotypic integration in feliform carnivores: Covariation patterns and disparity in hypercarnivores versus generalists

This work compared the shape of the skull, mandible, humerus, and femur of species in relation to their feeding strategies and prey preference and highlighted different degrees of morphological integration in the Feliformia depending on the functional implication of the anatomical structure.

Three-dimensional dental topography and feeding ecology in the extinct cave bear

Topographic analyses show that the complexity of upper tooth rows in living bears is more clearly associated with the mechanical properties of the items consumed than with the type of food, which align with a climate-driven hypothesis to explain the extinction of cave bear populations during the Late Pleistocene.

Modularity and Integration in the Skull of Canis lupus (Linnaeus 1758): A Geometric Morphometrics Study on Domestic Dogs and Wolves

The skull shape variation in domestic dogs exceeds that of grey wolves by far. The artificial selection of dogs has even led to breeds with mismatching upper and lower jaws and maloccluded teeth. For

Morphological evolution of the carnivoran sacrum

The sacrum in carnivores has evolved in response to the locomotor requirements of the species analysed, but in locomotion, each family has followed alternative morphological solutions to address the same functional demands.



Constraint and adaptation in the evolution of carnivoran skull shape

Combined analysis of theoretical and empirical morphospaces for these skull data also show the lower anatomical disparity of felids and hyaenids compared to canids and ursids, which indicates that increasing specialization within the hypercarnivorous niche may constrain subsequent morphological and ecological flexibility.


  • S. WroeN. Milne
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 2007
Support for the adaptive paradigm is found, with correlations between morphology, feeding behavior, and bite force, although skull shape better predicted feeding ecology in the phylogenetically diverse marsupial sample than in carnivorans.

Déjà vu: the evolution of feeding morphologies in the Carnivora

A survey of the fossil record indicates that large hypercarnivores evolve frequently, often in response to ecological opportunity afforded by the decline or extinction of previously dominant hyperc Carnivorous taxa.

Geometric morphometrics shows differences and similarities in skull shape between the red and giant pandas

The overall resemblance in skull shape between the giant and red pandas was probably driven by extrinsic factors (natural selection and adaptation for feeding on bamboo) as well as by intrinsic ones (the shared developmental pathway of the carnivoran skull, which posed some biomechanical constraints on the direction of the evolution of pandas).

Inferring palaeoecology in extinct tremarctine bears (Carnivora, Ursidae) using geometric morphometrics

The results reveal different ecomorphological specializations in extinct tremarctines during the Plio-Pleistocene of South America, which strongly supports that bears are one of the most ecologically and morphologically adaptable members of the large carnivore guild.

Ecomorphological indicators of feeding behaviour in the bears (Carnivora: Ursidae)

Comparison of patterns of morphological variation and patterns of phylogenetic relationships among species revealed surprisingly strong congruence between morphology and phylogenetics.

Demythologizing Arctodus simus, the ‘Short-Faced’ Long-Legged and Predaceous Bear that Never Was

The results do not support the previous views of A. simus as a fast-running super-predator or as a specialized scavenger, and the picture that emerges from this study is one of a colossal omnivorous bear whose diet probably varied according to resource availability.

Shape at the cross‐roads: homoplasy and history in the evolution of the carnivoran skull towards herbivory

The results indicate that both historical constraints and adaptation have interplayed in the evolution towards herbivory of the carnivoran skull, which has resulted in repeated patterns of biomechanical homoplasy.

Cranial function in a late Miocene Dinocrocuta gigantea (Mammalia: Carnivora) revealed by comparative finite element analysis

Finite element models of the skulls of Dinocrocuta gigantea, Canis lupus, and Crocuta crocuta were constructed to test the interpretation of D. gigante a as a bone cracker, an interpretation made on the basis of its large, conical premolars, and robust cranial morphology.

Ecomorphological study of large canids from the lower Pleistocene of southeastern Spain

The find of a complete skull of C. falconeri showing bilateral asymmetry and marked dental anomalies could suggest high levels of genetic homozygosis in the population which inhabited this region during early Pleistocene times, possibly as a consequence of isolation and the low number of individuals.