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      Geographic variation in hairy dwarf porcupines of Coendou from eastern Brazil (Mammalia: Erethizontidae)

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          Abstract

          We evaluated geographic variation in New World porcupines of Coendou (Erethizontidae) from eastern Brazil by analyzing morphological data from museum specimens we identified as Coendou insidiosus and C. spinosus. Coendou insidiosus ranges from the states of Bahia to Espírito Santo, reaching the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil; C. spinosus extends from the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo to the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil, extending into Paraguay, Uruguay, and northeastern Argentina. Our results indicate that there are three spatially coherent, morphologically distinct groups, which can be diagnosed using a combination of discrete morphological characters, and which are supported by univariate and multivariate statistical analyses. We classified members of the Northern group as C. insidiosus, which usually have several pale to light-brown unicolor thin hairs covering the dorsal and lateral quills. They are cranially and externally smaller than the other two groups, and have shorter hairs and quills. Specimens of the Central group are intermediate in terms of body size, and fit the description of C. spinosus, which have thick hairs covering the dorsal and lateral quills. These hairs are dark-brown at the base, and grayish, orange, yellow or light brown at the tip. The Southern group has the largest size and we classified it as a geographic variant of C. spinosus based on the conspicuous presence of large quills on the dorsal surface, which vary from yellowish or orange to blackish.

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          A comparison of phenotypic variation and covariation patterns and the role of phylogeny, ecology, and ontogeny during cranial evolution of new world monkeys.

          Similarity of genetic and phenotypic variation patterns among populations is important for making quantitative inferences about past evolutionary forces acting to differentiate populations and for evaluating the evolution of relationships among traits in response to new functional and developmental relationships. Here, phenotypic co variance and correlation structure is compared among Platyrrhine Neotropical primates. Comparisons range from among species within a genus to the superfamily level. Matrix correlation followed by Mantel's test and vector correlation among responses to random natural selection vectors (random skewers) were used to compare correlation and variance/covariance matrices of 39 skull traits. Sampling errors involved in matrix estimates were taken into account in comparisons using matrix repeatability to set upper limits for each pairwise comparison. Results indicate that covariance structure is not strictly constant but that the amount of variance pattern divergence observed among taxa is generally low and not associated with taxonomic distance. Specific instances of divergence are identified. There is no correlation between the amount of divergence in covariance patterns among the 16 genera and their phylogenetic distance derived from a conjoint analysis of four already published nuclear gene datasets. In contrast, there is a significant correlation between phylogenetic distance and morphological distance (Mahalanobis distance among genus centroids). This result indicates that while the phenotypic means were evolving during the last 30 millions years of New World monkey evolution, phenotypic covariance structures of Neotropical primate skulls have remained relatively consistent. Neotropical primates can be divided into four major groups based on their feeding habits (fruit-leaves, seed-fruits, insect-fruits, and gum-insect-fruits). Differences in phenotypic covariance structure are correlated with differences in feeding habits, indicating that to some extent changes in interrelationships among skull traits are associated with changes in feeding habits. Finally, common patterns and levels of morphological integration are found among Platyrrhine primates, suggesting that functional/developmental integration could be one major factor keeping covariance structure relatively stable during evolutionary diversification of South American monkeys.
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            Os Roedores do Brasil

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              Did natural selection or genetic drift produce the cranial diversification of neotropical monkeys?

              A central controversy among biologists is the relative importance of natural selection and genetic drift as creative forces shaping biological diversification (Fisher 1930; Wright 1931). Historically, this controversy has been an effective engine powering several evolutionary research programs during the last century (Provine 1989). While all biologists agree that both processes operate in nature to produce evolutionary change, there is a diversity of opinion about which process dominates at any particular organizational level (from DNA and proteins to complex morphologies). To address this last level, we did a broadscale analysis of cranial diversification among all living New World monkeys. Quantitative genetic models yield specific predictions about the relationship between variation patterns within and between populations that may be used to test the hypothesis that genetic drift is a sufficient explanation for morphological diversification. Diversity at several levels in a hierarchy of taxonomic/phylogenetics relationship was examined from species within genera to families within superfamilies. The major conclusion is that genetic drift can be ruled out as the primary source of evolutionary diversification in cranial morphology among taxa at the level of the genus and above as well as for diversification of most genera. However, drift may account for diversification among species within some Neotropical primate genera, implying that morphological diversification associated with speciation need not be adaptive in some radiations.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                zool
                Zoologia (Curitiba)
                Zoologia (Curitiba)
                Sociedade Brasileira de Zoologia (Curitiba, PR, Brazil )
                1984-4670
                1984-4689
                August 2012
                : 29
                : 4
                : 318-336
                Affiliations
                Vitória ES orgnameUniversidade Federal do Espírito Santo orgdiv1Laboratório de Mastozoologia e Biogeografia orgdiv2Departamento de Ciências Biológicas Brazil
                Santa Teresa ES orgnameInstituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Espírito Santo Brazil vcaldarajr@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                S1984-46702012000400005 S1984-4670(12)02900405
                10.1590/S1984-46702012000400005

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 29, Pages: 19
                Product
                Product Information: website
                Categories
                Morphology and Physiology

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