Ecomorphological analysis of the astragalo-calcaneal complex in rodents and inferences of locomotor behaviours in extinct rodent species

Abstract : Studies linking postcranial morphology with locomotion in mammals are common. However, such studies are mostly restricted to caviomorphs in rodents. We present here data from various families, belonging to the three main groups of rodents (Sciuroidea, Myodonta, and Ctenohystrica). The aim of this study is to define morphological indicators for the astragalus and calcaneus, which allow for inferences to be made about the locomotor behaviours in rodents. Several specimens were dissected and described to bridge the myology of the leg with the morphology of the bones of interest. Osteological characters were described, compared, mechanically interpreted, and correlated with a ''functional sequence'' comprising six categories linked to the lifestyle and locomotion (jumping, cursorial, generalist, fossorial, climber and semi-aquatic). Some character states are typical of some of these categories, especially arboreal climbers, fossorial and ''cursorial-jumping'' taxa. Such reliable characters might be used to infer locomotor behaviours in extinct species. Linear discriminant analyses (LDAs) were used on a wider sample of species and show that astragalar and calcaneal characters can be used to discriminate the categories among extant species whereas a posteriori inferences on extinct species should be examined with caution.
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Soumis le : mardi 12 juin 2018 - 10:36:48
Dernière modification le : mercredi 13 juin 2018 - 13:30:36

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Samuel Ginot, Lionel Hautier, Laurent Marivaux, Monique Vianey-Liaud. Ecomorphological analysis of the astragalo-calcaneal complex in rodents and inferences of locomotor behaviours in extinct rodent species. PeerJ, PeerJ, 2016, 4, pp.e2393. 〈10.7717/peerj.2393〉. 〈hal-01813222〉

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