[MARMAM] Tsai and Fordyce 2014 Baleen whale heterochrony

Cheng-Hsiu Tsai cheng-hsiu.tsai at otago.ac.nz
Fri Jan 24 08:12:04 PST 2014

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce a new article on baleen whale heterochrony.
Title: Disparate Heterochronic Processes in Baleen Whale Evolution.

The article could be downloaded: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11692-014-9269-4
or email Tsai, cheng-hsiu.tsai at otago.ac.nz; Ewan, ewan.fordyce at otago.ac.nz

Abstract Skulls of living baleen whales show distinctive patterns of heterochronic ontogenetic change with implications formysticete evolution. Here, three baleen whale species are analysed and considered in a heterochronic context. Landmarks show that, during ontogeny, skull morphology changes significantly in the rorqualBalaenoptera borealis and humpback Megaptera novaeangliae (both Balaenopteridae), while the pygmy right whale Caperea marginata (Cetotheriidae: Neobalaeninae) retains an overall juvenile morphology from foetus to adult. Geometric morphometric analyses show that foetal and adult C. marginata are similar, whereas the balaenopterids aremore disparate: foetalM. novaeangliae and B. borealis appear in one group, and adult M. novaeangliae and B. borealis are grouped closely. Heterochrony involves paedomorphosis for Caperea, and peramorphosis for the balaenopterids. Heterochrony might cause limited or released developmental constraints, leading to low taxonomic diversity in the single surviving species of neobalaenine, and higher diversity amongst balaenopterids.

All the best,

Cheng-Hsiu Tsai (蔡政修)
PhD student, Department of Geology, University of Otago
360 Leith Walk (Courier) or PO Box 56 (Postal)
Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Email: cheng-hsiu.tsai at otago.ac.nz; craniata at gmail.com

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