Anjali Goswami

Anjali Goswami
Natural History Museum, London · Department of Life Sciences

About

191
Publications
77,548
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5,871
Citations
Citations since 2017
72 Research Items
3914 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800

Publications

Publications (191)
Preprint
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One of the most famous examples of adaptive radiation is that of the Galapagos finches, where skull morphology, particularly the beak, varies with feeding ecology. Yet increasingly studies are questioning the strength of this correlation between feeding ecology and morphology in relation to the entire neornithine radiation, suggesting that other fa...
Preprint
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Ontogeny plays a key role in the evolution of organisms, as changes during the complex processes of development can allow for new traits to arise. Identifying changes in ontogenetic allometry - the relationship between skull shape and size during growth - can reveal the processes underlying major evolutionary transformations. Baleen whales (Mystice...
Article
The Cenozoic diversification of placental mammals is the archetypal adaptive radiation. Yet, discrepancies between molecular divergence estimates and the fossil record fuel ongoing debate around the timing, tempo, and drivers of this radiation. Analysis of a three-dimensional skull dataset for living and extinct placental mammals demonstrates that...
Article
Extreme asymmetry of the skull is one of the most distinctive traits that characterizes toothed whales (Odontoceti, Cetacea). The origin and function of cranial asymmetry are connected to the evolution of echolocation, the ability to use high-frequency sounds to navigate the surrounding environment. Although this novel phenotype must arise through...
Preprint
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Extreme asymmetry of the skull is one of the most distinctive traits that characterizes toothed whales (Odontoceti, Cetacea). The origin and function of cranial asymmetry are connected to the evolution of echolocation, the ability to use high frequency sounds to navigate the surrounding environment. Although this novel phenotype must arise through...
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The evolution of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) represents one of the most extreme adaptive transitions known, from terrestrial mammals to a highly specialized aquatic radiation that includes the largest animals alive today. Many anatomical shifts in this transition involve the feeding, respiratory, and sensory structures of the cranium, which we...
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The fossil record of abelisaurid theropods in South America is mostly limited to Brazil and Argentina. In Argentina, abelisaurids are generally known from Patagonia, where their record is relatively abundant and includes well-known and complete specimens. However, for Northwestern Argentina, abelisaurids are represented by incomplete and isolated b...
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Cetaceans (baleen and toothed whales) present a unique set of adaptations for life in water. Among other abilities, the two living groups can hear and produce different sound frequencies: baleen whales use low frequencies primarily for communication, whereas toothed whales acquired the ability to echolocate using high-frequency sounds. Both groups...
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Modularity is now generally recognized as a fundamental feature of organisms, one that may have profound consequences for evolution. Modularity has recently become a major focus of research in organismal biology across multiple disciplines including genetics, developmental biology, functional morphology, population and evolutionary biology. While t...
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All modern crocodyliforms (alligators, crocodiles and the gharial) are semi-aquatic generalist carnivores that are relatively similar in cranial form and function. However, this homogeneity represents just a fraction of the variation that once existed in the clade, which includes extinct herbivorous and marine forms with divergent skull structure a...
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en The Uropeltidae, a family of small, fossorial snakes endemic to south Asia, are characterized by highly modified head and tail morphology. Their secretive nature has led to a dearth of research regarding intraspecific variation in morphology and tail function. Linear morphometrics of external size and shape and scale counts were combined with 3D...
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Habitat is one of the most important factors shaping organismal morphology, but it may vary across life history stages. Ontogenetic shifts in ecology may introduce antagonistic selection that constrains adult phenotype, particularly with ecologically distinct developmental phases such as the free-living, feeding larval stage of many frogs (Lissamph...
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Relative brain size has long been considered a reflection of cognitive capacities and has played a fundamental role in developing core theories in the life sciences. Yet, the notion that relative brain size validly represents selection on brain size relies on the untested assumptions that brain-body allometry is restrained to a stable scaling relat...
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Relative brain size has long been considered a reflection of cognitive capacities and has played a fundamental role in developing core theories in the life sciences. Yet, the notion that relative brain size validly represents selection on brain size relies on the untested assumptions that brain-body allometry is restrained to a stable scaling relat...
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Considerable controversy exists about which hypotheses and variables best explain mammalian brain size variation. We use a new, high-coverage dataset of marsupial brain and body sizes, and the first phylogenetically imputed full datasets of 16 predictor variables, to model the prevalent hypotheses explaining brain size evolution using phylogenetica...
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The study of integration and modularity aims to describe the organization of components that make up organisms, and the evolutionary, developmental and functional relationships among them. Both have been studied at the interspecific (evolutionary) and intraspecific (phenotypic and ontogenetic) levels to different degrees across various clades. Alth...
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Phenotypic variation across mammals is extensive and reflects their ecological diversification into a remarkable range of habitats on every continent and in every ocean. The skull performs many functions to enable each species to thrive within its unique ecological niche, from prey acquisition, feeding, sensory capture (supporting vision and hearin...
Chapter
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The paleogeographic history of the Indian sub-continent is unique among Earth's landmasses. From being part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana for most of the Mesozoic, through a period of isolation as a drifting entity in the Late Cretaceous, to colliding with Asia near the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, the Indian subcontinent has been associate...
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Cranial sutures play critical roles in facilitating postnatal skull development and function. The diversity of function is reflected in the highly variable suture morphology and complexity. Suture complexity has seldom been studied, resulting in little consensus on the most appropriate approach for comparative, quantitative analyses. Here, we provi...
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The evolutionary radiation of birds has produced incredible morphological variation, including a huge range of skull form and function. Investigating how this variation arose with respect to non-avian dinosaurs is key to understanding how birds achieved their remarkable success after the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. Using a high-dimension...
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Metamorphosis is widespread across the animal kingdom and induces fundamental changes in the morphology, habitat and resources used by an organism during its lifetime. Metamorphic species are likely to experience more dynamic selective pressures through ontogeny compared with species with single-phase life cycles, which may drive divergent evolutio...
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Background: Unlike most mammals, toothed whale (Odontoceti) skulls lack symmetry in the nasal and facial (nasofacial) region. This asymmetry is hypothesised to relate to echolocation, which may have evolved in the earliest diverging odontocetes. Early cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) such as archaeocetes, namely the protocetids and basi...
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Analyses of morphological disparity have been used to characterize and investigate the evolution of variation in the anatomy, function and ecology of organisms since the 1980s. While a diversity of methods have been employed, it is unclear whether they provide equivalent insights. Here, we review the most commonly used approaches for characterizing...
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Evolutionary integration (covariation) of traits has long fascinated biologists because of its potential to elucidate factors that have shaped morphological evolution. Studies of tetrapod crania have identified patterns of evolutionary integration that reflect functional or developmental interactions among traits, but no studies to date have sample...
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Phenotypic integration and modularity are concepts that represent the pattern of connectivity of morphological structures within an organism. Integration describes the coordinated variation of traits, and analyses of these relationships among traits often reveals the presence of modules, sets of traits that are highly integrated but relatively inde...
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Background Caecilians (Gymnophiona) are the least speciose extant lissamphibian order, yet living forms capture approximately 250 million years of evolution since their earliest divergences. This long history is reflected in the broad range of skull morphologies exhibited by this largely fossorial, but developmentally diverse, clade. However, this...
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Synopsis Advances in imaging technologies, such as computed tomography (CT) and surface scanning, have facilitated the rapid generation of large datasets of high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) specimen reconstructions in recent years. The wealth of phenotypic information available from these datasets has the potential to inform our understanding...
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Significance With >10,000 living species, squamate reptiles (lizards, snakes) exhibit enormous phenotypic variation reflecting their incredible range in ecology and developmental strategies. What drove this exceptional diversity? We analyze high-density surface morphometric data for skulls representing ∼200 modern and extinct species to provide a c...
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The field of comparative morphology has entered a new phase with the rapid generation of high-resolution three-dimensional data. With freely available 3D data of thousands of species, methods for quantifying morphology that harness this rich phenotypic information are quickly emerging. Among these techniques, high-density geometric morphometric app...
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Complex structures, like the vertebrate skull, are composed of numerous elements or traits that must develop and evolve in a coordinated manner to achieve multiple functions. The strength of association among phenotypic traits (i.e., integration), and their organization into highly-correlated, semi-independent subunits termed modules, is a result o...
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Patterns of trait integration reflect the underlying genetic and developmental architecture of morphology and significantly influence the direction of evolution. Nevertheless, the relationship between integration and disparity is complex and unlikely to be uniform across large phylogenetic and ecological scales. To date, there are little data compa...
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Full-text available
Analyses of phenotypic integration and modularity seek to quantify levels of covariation among traits to identify their shared functional, developmental and genetic underpinnings ('integration'), which may delineate semi-independent subsets of highly integrated traits ('modules'). Existing studies have focused mainly on mammals or model organisms,...
Article
Resolving the timing and pattern of early placental mammal evolution has been confounded by conflict among divergence date estimates from interpretation of the fossil record and from molecular-clock dating studies. Despite both fossil occurrences and molecular sequences favouring a Cretaceous origin for Placentalia, no unambiguous Cretaceous placen...
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Discrete morphological data have been widely used to study species evolution, but the use of quantitative (or continuous) morphological characters is less common. Here, we implement a Bayesian method to estimate species divergence times using quantitative characters. Quantitative character evolution is modelled using Brownian diffusion with charact...
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Cranial morphology in birds is thought to be shaped by adaptive evolution for foraging performance. This understanding of ecomorphological evolution is supported by observations of avian island radiations, such as Darwin's finches, which display rapid evolution of skull shape in response to food resource availability and a strong fit between crania...
Article
Analyses of phenotypic integration and modularity seek to quantify levels of covariation among traits to identify their shared functional, developmental and genetic underpinnings ('integration'), which may delineate semi-independent subsets of highly integrated traits ('modules'). Existing studies have focused mainly on mammals or model organisms,...
Article
Odontocetes (toothed whales) have amongst the most radically altered skull of any mammal, but no study has tested how these modifications have altered its phenotypic integration. Here, we perform the first rigorous assessment of modularity in Delphinus delphis, using a combination of cluster analysis, covariance ratio tests and maximum-likelihood m...
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Anurans have a long fossil record, spanning from the Early Jurassic to the Recent. However, specimens are often severely flattened, limiting their inclusion in quantitative analyses of morphological evolution. We perform a two‐dimensional morphometric analysis of anuran skull outlines, incorporating 42 Early Cretaceous to Miocene species, as well a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Discrete morphological data have been widely used to study species evolution, but the use of quantitative (or continuous) morphological characters is less common. Here, we implement a Bayesian method to estimate species divergence times using quantitative characters. Quantitative character evolution is modelled using Brownian diffusion with charact...
Article
Full-text available
Phenotypic integration and modularity are ubiquitous features of complex organisms, describing the magnitude and pattern of relationships among biological traits. A key prediction is that these relationships, reflecting genetic, developmental, and functional interactions, shape evolutionary processes by governing evolvability and constraint. Over t...
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Within carnivorans, cats show comparatively little disparity in overall morphology, with species differing mainly in body size. However, detailed shape analyses of individual osteological structures, such as limbs or skulls, have shown that felids display significant morphological differences that correlate with their observed ecological and behavi...
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Odontocete (echolocating whale) skulls exhibit extreme posterior displacement and overlapping of facial bones, here referred to as retrograde cranial telescoping. To examine retrograde cranial telescoping across 40 million years of whale evolution, we collected 3D scans of whale skulls spanning odontocete evolution. We used a sliding semilandmark m...
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In the past, fossilised dinosaur eggshells have been extensively documented from the Upper Cretaceous Lameta Formation of Central India and as many as nine oospecies are known at present from this formation. Compared to this, only one dinosaur oospecies has been described from the Cretaceous succession of the Cauvery Basin. However, the first fossi...
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Despite a global fossil record, Metatheria are now largely restricted to Australasia and South America. Most metatherian paleodiversity studies to date are limited to particular subclades, time intervals, and/or regions, and few consider uneven sampling. Here, we present a comprehensive new data set on metatherian fossil occurrences (Barremian to e...
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Significance Studies reconstructing morphological evolution have long relied on simple representations of organismal form or on limited sampling of species, hindering a comprehensive understanding of the factors shaping biological diversity. Here, we combine high-resolution 3D quantification of skull shape with dense taxonomic sampling across a maj...
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There is a well-established discrepancy between paleontological and molecular data regarding the timing of the origin and diversification of placental mammals. Molecular estimates place interordinal diversification dates in the Cretaceous, while no unambiguous crown placental fossils have been found prior to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Here...
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Background Previous studies have demonstrated that the clear morphological differences among vertebrae across the presacral column are accompanied by heterogeneous functional signals in vertebral shape. Further, several lines of evidence suggest that the mammalian axial skeleton is a highly modular structure. These include its composition of serial...
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Over the past two decades, the development of methods for visualizing and analysing specimens digitally, in three and even four dimensions, has transformed the study of living and fossil organisms. However, the initial promise that the widespread application of such methods would facilitate access to the underlying digital data has not been fully a...
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Morphological integration and modularity, which describe the relationships among morphological attributes and reflect genetic, developmental, and functional interactions, have been hypothesized to be major influences on trait responses to selection and thus morphological evolution. The mammalian presacral vertebral column shows little variation in...
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The modern-day fauna of the Indian subcontinent is a mixture of ancestral Gondwanan clades, Laurasian immigrants, and endemic radiations as a result of its complex geological history. During the latest Cretaceous, the Indian subcontinent has been reconstructed at peak isolation from other continents, having separated last from Madagascar approximat...
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2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society. The 'Age of Mammals' began in the Paleocene epoch, the 10million year interval immediately following the Cretaceous-Palaeogene mass extinction. The apparently rapid shift in mammalian ecomorphs from small, largely insectivorous forms to many small-to-large-bodied, diverse taxa has driven a hypothesis that the e...
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The extinct North American lion (Panthera atrox) is one of the largest felids (Mammalia, Carnivora) to have ever lived, and it is known from a plethora of incredibly well-preserved remains. Despite this abundance of material, there has been little research into its endocranial anatomy. CT scans of a skull of P. atrox from the Pleistocene La Brea Ta...
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Substantial new information is presented on upper Artinskian–Kungurian deposits in Timor-Leste and in the Canning, Southern Carnarvon and northern Perth basins of Western Australia. These basins, situated between about 35°S and 55°S palaeolatitude, formed part of the East Gondwana interior rift, a precursor to the rift that 100 my later formed the...
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Recent advances in geometric morphometrics provide improved techniques for extraction of biological information from shape and have greatly contributed to the study of ecomorphology and morphological evolution. However, the vertebral column remains an under-studied structure due in part to a concentration on skull and limb research, but most import...
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The fossil record of the earliest Cenozoic contains the first large-bodied placental mammals. Several evolutionary models have been invoked to explain the transition from small to large body sizes, but methods for determining evolutionary mode of trait change depend on input from tree topology and divergence dates. Different dating methods may ther...