Anne-Claire Fabre

Anne-Claire Fabre
Universität Bern | UniBe · Institute of Ecology and Evolution

PhD
I am interested in the origin and evolution of morphological and functional diversity of organisms.

About

79
Publications
51,012
Reads
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1,814
Citations
Citations since 2017
55 Research Items
1618 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300
Introduction
My research project entails research questions concerning evolutionary biology, principally focused on a functional morphological study of the skeleton using 3D geometric morphometric and comparative approaches.
Additional affiliations
May 2018 - present
Natural History Museum, London
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2016 - January 2018
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2014 - January 2016
Duke University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • My research project entails research questions concerning evolutionary biology and is principally focused on a functional morphological study of the skeleton.

Publications

Publications (79)
Article
Full-text available
Vertebrate limb morphology often reflects the environment due to variation in locomotor requirements. However, proximal and distal limb segments may evolve differently from one another, reflecting an anatomical gradient of functional specialization that has been suggested to be impacted by the timing of development. Here we explore whether the temp...
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
Nose picking (rhinotillexis) is a common behaviour in humans which remains, however, poorly studied. Several species of primates are known to pick their nose and ingest the nasal mucus suggesting that this behaviour may actually be beneficial and showing it is not restricted to humans. Here, we review relevant literature and online sources, and doc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Vertebrate limb morphology often reflects the environment, due to variation in locomotor requirements and other ecological traits. However, proximal and distal limb segments may evolve differently to each other, reflecting an anatomical gradient of functional specialization that has been suggested to be impacted by the timing of bone condensation d...
Preprint
Full-text available
The evolution of visual control of the hand to assist feeding by primates is uncertain but in anthropoid primates vision contributes not only to reaching for food and grasping it but also to the withdraw movement that brings food to the mouth. The strepsirrhines are a relatively large monophyletic group of Euarchontoglires near the base of the prim...
Article
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Phenotypic traits have been shown to evolve in response to variation in the environment. However, the evolutionary processes underlying the emergence of phenotypic diversity can typically only be understood at the population level. Consequently, how subtle phenotypic differences at the intraspecific level can give rise to larger‐scale changes in pe...
Article
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...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
The genus Synapturanus includes three nominal species of fossorial Amazonian frogs. A previous study combining molecular, morphological and acoustic data suggested that there may be six times more species than currently recognized. Herein we describe and name three of these new species and compare their osteology. Synapturanus zombie sp. nov. occur...
Article
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Differences in jaw function experienced through ontogeny can have striking consequences for evolutionary outcomes, as has been suggested for the major clades of mammals. By contrast to placentals, marsupial newborns have an accelerated development of the head and forelimbs, allowing them to crawl to the mother's teats to suckle within just a few we...
Article
The outstanding biodiversity of the Guiana Shield has raised many questions about its origins and evolution. Frogs of the genera Adelastes, Otophryne and Synapturanus form an ancient lineage distributed mostly across this region. These genera display strikingly disparate morphologies and life-history traits. Notably, Synapturanus is conspicuously a...
Article
Full-text available
The skeleton is a complex arrangement of anatomical structures that covary to various degrees depending on both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Among the Feliformia, many species are characterized by predator lifestyles providing a unique opportunity to investigate the impact of highly specialized hypercarnivorous diet on phenotypic integration an...
Article
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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...
Article
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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...
Article
Full-text available
Extreme climate events such as droughts, cold snaps, and hurricanes can be powerful agents of natural selection, producing acute selective pressures very different from the everyday pressures acting on organisms. However, it remains unknown whether these infrequent but severe disruptions are quickly erased by quotidian selective forces, or whether...
Book
Atlas of Terrestrial Mammal Limbs is the first comprehensive and detailed anatomy book on a broad phylogenetic and ecological range of mammals. This extraordinary new work features more than 400 photographs and illustrations visualizing the limb musculature of 28 different species. Standardized views of the dissected bodies and concise text descrip...
Article
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...
Article
Full-text available
In the present paper, we carry out a deep analysis of the functional anatomy of the long bones of the fossil, wolverine-sized mustelid Ischyrictis zibethoides (Blainville, 1841) in comparison with that of several extant related species. The study reveals that this animal lacked specific adaptations for either climbing or running, probably being a t...
Article
Full-text available
Vertebrate osteological collections provide comparative material for morphological analysis. Before being stored in the collection and studied by researchers, specimens are treated by preparators or curators and are cleaned. The preparation protocol employed ideally should not damage the material. Here, we explore the potential deformation of bones...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Access to resources is a dynamic and multicausal process that determines the success and survival of a population. It is therefore often challenging to disentangle the factors affecting ecological traits like diet. Insular habitats provide a good opportunity to study how variation in diet originates, in particular in populations of mesopre...
Article
Manual grasping is widespread among tetrapods but is more prominent and dexterous in primates. Whether the selective pressures that drove the evolution of dexterous hand grasping involved the collection of fruit or predation on mobile insects remains an area of debate. One way to explore this question is to examine preferences for manual versus ora...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
Both environmental temperatures and spatial heterogeneity can profoundly affect the biology of ectotherms. In lizards, thermoregulation may show high plasticity and may respond to environmental shifts. In the context of global climate change, lizards showing plastic thermoregulatory responses may be favored. In this study, we designed an experiment...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
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The evolution of flight in birds involves (i) decoupling of the primitive mode of quadrupedal locomotor coordination, with a new synchronized flapping motion of the wings while conserving alternating leg movements, and (ii) reduction of wing digits and loss of functional claws. Our observations show that hoatzin nestlings move with alternated walki...
Article
Prehension involves the ability to reach, grasp and transport an object. It is a fitness-relevant behaviour with an important role in food acquisition and locomotion. Grasping an item requires the coordinated action of several muscles and, consequently, the muscular anatomy can be expected to be a good indicator of grasping ability. Here, we quanti...
Chapter
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Amphibians are different from most other tetrapods because they have a biphasic life cycle, with larval forms showing a dramatically different cranial anatomy and feeding strategy compared to adults. Amphibians with their exceptional diversity in habitats, lifestyles and reproductive modes are also excellent models for studying the evolutionary div...
Article
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Sciuromorph rodents are a monophyletic group comprising about 300 species with a body mass range spanning three orders of magnitude and various locomotor behaviors that we categorized into arboreal, fossorial and aerial. The purpose of this study was to investigate how the interplay of locomotor ecology and body mass affects the morphology of the s...
Article
Full-text available
Although hand grasping is ubiquitous in primate species, its origins remain uncertain. This is in part because uncertainty about hand skills and grasping strategies persists in strepsirrhines, a monophyletic group of primates located near the base of the primate tree. In this study, we report and discuss our observations of the different grasping s...
Article
Full-text available
Fine prehensile activities are often thought to have been associated with the evolution of the human hand. However, there has been no holistic approach establishing the link between the morphology of the forelimb and grasping ability in living primates. The present study investigated the possible relationships between grasping behaviour and the mor...
Article
Objectives In this study, we explore whether ground reaction forces recorded during horizontal walking co‐vary with the shape of the long bones of the forelimb in strepsirrhines. To do so, we quantify (1) the shape of the shaft and articular surfaces of each long bone of the forelimb, (2) the peak vertical, mediolateral, and horizontal ground react...
Article
Full-text available
The arboreal environment is complex and irregular and imposes significant constraints on the locomotor ability of vertebrates, resulting in morphological adaptations. Carnivorans are of particular interest because they radiated several times independently into the arboreal milieu, leading to convergence in long bone anatomy. We investigated whether...
Article
Full-text available
Hurricanes are catastrophically destructive. Beyond their toll on human life and livelihoods, hurricanes have tremendous and often long-lasting effects on ecological systems1,2. Despite many examples of mass mortality events following hurricanes3-5, hurricane-induced natural selection has not previously been demonstrated. Immediately after we finis...
Article
Full-text available
The arboreal environment is complex and irregular and imposes significant constraints on the locomotor ability of vertebrates, resulting in morphological adaptations. Carnivorans are of particular interest because they radiated several times independently into the arboreal milieu, leading to convergence in long bone anatomy. We investigated whether...
Article
In the modern definition of adaptive radiation, a clade rapidly diversifies from a common ancestor to colonize a wide variety of new ecological niches. The idea of multiplication of species related to an adaptive radiation is well accepted. However, the assessment of how ecological and phenotypic diversity is interrelated in the case of adaptive ra...
Article
Full-text available
Phenotypic integration, defined as the coordinated co-variation of parts of an organism can be an important constraint on phenotypic diversification. Functional factors, by having an heterogeneous impact across the animal body, may reinforce the integration of some parts while causing a perturbation of the integration among other parts. The integra...
Article
Tendon collagen fibrils are the basic force‐transmitting units of the tendon. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the diversity in tendon anatomy and ultrastructure, and the possible relationships between this diversity and locomotor modes utilized. Our main objectives were to investigate: (a) the ultra‐structural anatomy of the tendons in the...
Article
Lizards are an interesting group to study how habitat use impacts the morphology of the forelimb because they occupy a great diversity of ecological niches. In this study, we specifically investigated whether habitat use impacts the morphology of the forelimb flexor muscles in lizards. To do so, we performed dissections and quantified the physiolog...
Article
Arboreal locomotion imposes selective pressures that may affect the evolution of the locomotor apparatus. The limbs have to be mobile to reach across discontinuities, yet at the same time need to be forceful to move against gravity during climbing. However, as intermediaries between the arboreal and terrestrial environment, semi-arboreal mammals ap...
Article
Full-text available
Despite great interest and decades of research, the musculoskeletal relationships of the masticatory system in primates are still not fully understood. However, without a clear understanding of the interplay between muscles and bones it remains difficult to understand the functional significance of morphological traits of the skeleton. Here, we aim...
Article
Full-text available
The ecological origin of snakes remains amongst the most controversial topics in evolution, with three competing hypotheses: fossorial; marine; or terrestrial. Here we use a geometric morphometric approach integrating ecological, phylogenetic, paleontological, and developmental data for building models of skull shape and size evolution and developm...
Article
The feet are the only contact between the body and the substrate in limbed animals and as such they provide a crucial interface between the animal and its environment. This is especially true for bipedal and arboreal species living in a complex three-dimensional environment that likely induces strong selection on foot morphology. In birds, foot mor...
Article
Full-text available
We examined asymmetry in the color of the dewlap of Anolis lineatus from Curacao. We confirmed previous reports that one side of the dewlap appears more yellow in color than the other and, contrary to previous work, demonstrate a directional bias such that the left side is usually the more yellow side. At one site surveyed twice in 3.5 years, the p...
Article
The evolution of primates is intimately linked to their initial invasion of an arboreal environment. However, moving and foraging in this milieu creates significant mechanical challenges related to the presence of substrates differing in their size and orientation. It is widely assumed that primates are behaviorally and anatomically adapted to move...
Article
Despite the long-standing interest in the evolution of the brain, relatively little is known about variation in brain anatomy in frogs. Yet, frogs are ecologically diverse and, as such, variation in brain anatomy linked to differences in lifestyle or locomotor behavior can be expected. Here we present a comparative morphological study focusing on t...
Article
Full-text available
The shape of long bones is linked to a species’ ecology and is thought to reflect the constraints imposed by locomotion. The evolution of the shape of the long bones in semi-aquatic mustelids has likely been shaped by the divergent mechanical properties of both water and land. Adaptation to a semi-aquatic lifestyle occurred independently in otters...
Article
Full-text available
The origin and evolution of manual grasping remain poorly understood. The ability to cling requires important grasping abilities and is essential to survive in species where the young are carried in the fur. A previous study has suggested that this behaviour could be a pre-adaptation for the evolution of fine manipulative skills. In this study we t...
Article
Full-text available
The locomotor environment and behavior of quadrupedal mammals exert functional constraints on their limbs. Therefore long bone shapes are thought to reflect at least partially the species’ locomotor ecology. Semi-aquatic species move through two media with distinct density and viscosity and their locomotor apparatus should therefore reflect a trade...
Article
Full-text available
The head is a complex integrated system that is implicated in many vital functions. As such its morphology is impacted by different and sometimes conflicting demands. Consequently, head shape varies greatly depending on the environment and dietary ecology of an organism. Moreover, given its role in territory defence and mating in lizards, it is als...
Article
Full-text available
Evolutionary trajectories are often biased by developmental and historical factors. However, environmental factors can also impose constraints on the evolutionary trajectories of organisms leading to convergence of morphology in similar ecological contexts. The physical properties of water impose strong constraints on aquatic feeding animals by gen...
Article
Objectives: Many primates exhibit a suite of characteristics that distinguish their quadrupedal gaits from non-primate mammals including the use of a diagonal sequence gait, a relatively protracted humerus at touchdown, and relatively high peak vertical forces on the hindlimbs compared to the forelimbs. These characteristics are thought to have ev...
Article
An organism’s morphology is driven by selection on function while being constrained by phylogenetic and developmental factors as well as functional trade-offs. If selection on function is strong and solutions limited, then convergence is expected. In this paper we quantify head shape in a group of ecologically diverse snakes (homalopsid snakes) dif...
Article
Full-text available
Inferences of function and ecology in extinct taxa have long been a subject of interest because it is fundamental to understand the evolutionary history of species. In this study, we use a quantitative approach to investigate the locomotor behaviour of Simocyon batalleri, a key taxon related to the ailurid family. To do so, we use 3D surface geomet...
Article
Full-text available
A major goal of evolutionary studies is to better understand how complex morphologies are related to the different functions and behaviours in which they are involved. For example, during locomotion and hunting behaviour, the head and the eyes have to stay at an appropriate level in order to reliably judge distance as well as to provide postural in...