Journal of Mammalian Evolution

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 185–208 | Cite as

Quantitative Comparison of Ontogenetic and Phylogenetic Character Changes in the Synapsid Mandible and Auditory Region



The dual transformations of the post-dentary bones into sound conducting elements of the basicranium in synapsid evolutionary and developmental histories are quantitatively compared using a modified version of a previously published methodology. Sensitivity analyses were performed to test the effects of using different phylogenies and statistics. The relative sequences of discrete osteological character transformations of the mandible and auditory region compared between the ontogeny of Monodelphis domestica. the gray short-tailed opossum, and two phylogenetic hypotheses for synapsids are statistically correlated using two different tests (Spearman's R correlation and Kendall's Tau). Presumably, the characters examined in this study form a functionally integrated morphological unit that is distinct throughout evolutionary and developmental history. Assuming a von Baerian developmental pattern, the methodology discussed here could potentially be used as a test of similarity between phylogenetic hypotheses; however, further work needs to be done to test this potential.

Synapsida Mammalia mandible auditory region character transformations 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas Memorial Museum and Jackson School of Geosciences, Vertebrate Paleontology LaboratoryThe University of Texas at AustinAustin

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