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      Brain Evolution across the Puerto Rican Anole Radiation


      Brain, Behavior and Evolution

      S. Karger AG

      Brain evolution, Reptile, Comparative neuroanatomy, Allometry

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          Patterns of brain evolution have been widely studied across vertebrates, with the bulk of studies using mammals and/or birds as model systems. Within these groups, species occupying different habitats have been shown to have divergent neuroanatomy, particularly with regard to differences in the relative size of different brain structures, correlated with differences in habitat complexity. We examined the pattern of allometric scaling across the telencephalon, dorsal cortex, dorsomedial cortex, medial cortex, dorsal ventricular ridge, medulla and cerebellum in six species of Puerto Rican Anolis lizards, which are grouped in three distinct ecomorphs (i.e. ecological types) according to interspecific differences in preferred habitat type. The differences in habitat preferences are accompanied by morphological and behavioral adaptations for effective use of each habitat type. Our results challenge this trend and demonstrate a lack of convergence in the relative size of different brain structures between species belonging to the same ecomorph type. Overall brain volume explained between 92.5 and 99.8% of the variance in the volume of each of the brain regions measured and 93.8 and 98.5% of the variance in the volume of each component measured within the telencephalon. This pattern of brain allometry is consistent with concerted brain evolution. However, in the case of the cerebellum, interspecific differences in volume exhibit a trend in accordance with mosaic brain evolution. This suggests that both concerted and mosaic brain evolution have shaped the anole brain, with the former playing a dominant role. Concerted brain evolution is the primary mechanism shaping the brain in mammals and cartilaginous fishes, and its presence in Anolis lizards provides additional evidence supporting the hypothesis that concerted brain evolution might result from a conserved pattern of brain development common to all vertebrates. More generally, our findings highlight the necessity of further studies of brain evolution in reptiles as they can provide valuable insights into the mechanisms underlying vertebrate brain evolution.

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          Most cited references 45

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          Ecological opportunity and the rate of morphological evolution in the diversification of Greater Antillean anoles.

          The pace of phenotypic diversification during adaptive radiation should decrease as ecological opportunity declines. We test this prediction using phylogenetic comparative analyses of a wide range of morphological traits in Greater Antillean Anolis lizards. We find that the rate of diversification along two important axes of Anolis radiation-body size and limb dimensions-decreased as opportunity declined, with opportunity quantified either as time elapsed in the radiation or as the diversity of competing anole lineages inferred to have been present on an island at different times in the past. Most previous studies of the ecological opportunity hypothesis have focused on the rate of species diversification; our results provide a complementary perspective, indicating that the rate of phenotypic diversification declines with decreasing opportunity in an adaptive radiation. © 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2010 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
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            Ecomorphology, Performance Capability, and Scaling of West Indian Anolis Lizards: An Evolutionary Analysis

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              Linked regularities in the development and evolution of mammalian brains


                Author and article information

                Brain Behav Evol
                Brain, Behavior and Evolution
                S. Karger AG
                October 2012
                17 August 2012
                : 80
                : 3
                : 170-180
                Duke University, Durham, N.C., USA
                Author notes
                *Brian J. Powell, Department of Biology, Duke University, Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708 (USA), Tel. +1 919 613 7452, E-Mail bjp14@duke.edu
                341161 Brain Behav Evol 2012;80:170–180
                © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 4, Pages: 11
                Original Paper


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