Christy Hipsley

Christy Hipsley
University of Melbourne / Museum Victoria · BioSciences

PhD

About

54
Publications
17,743
Reads
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1,485
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2015 - present
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Research Associate
June 2007 - December 2014

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
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Limb‐reduced squamates are a convenient model system to investigate macroevolutionary trends in morphology. Here, we provide morphological, ecological and literature data on all known species of limb‐reduced skinks (Scincidae) and their relatives, representing one of the most diverse and widely distributed groups of limb‐reduced squamates. Global....
Article
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Despite only comprising seven species, extant sea turtles (Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae) display great ecological diversity, with most species inhabiting a unique dietary niche as adults. This adult diversity is remarkable given that all species share the same dietary niche as juveniles. These ontogenetic shifts in diet, as well as a dramatic inc...
Article
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Marsupials exhibit unique biological features that provide fascinating insights into many aspects of mammalian development. These include their distinctive mode of reproduction, altricial stage at birth, and the associated heterochrony that is required for their crawl to the pouch and teat attachment. Marsupials are also an invaluable resource for...
Article
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Phenotypic convergence, describing the independent evolution of similar characteristics, offers unique insights into how natural selection influences developmental and molecular processes to generate shared adaptations. The extinct marsupial thylacine and placental gray wolf represent one of the most extraordinary cases of convergent evolution in m...
Article
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𝗕𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱. The study of convergently acquired adaptations allows fundamental insight into life's evolutionary history. Within lepidosaur reptiles – i.e., lizards, tuatara, and snakes – a fully fossorial ('burrowing') lifestyle has independently evolved in most major clades. However, despite their con-sistent use of the skull as a digging tool, cra...
Article
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
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High-resolution X-ray microcomputed tomography, or microCT (μCT), enables the digital imaging of whole objects in three dimensions. The power of μCT to visualize internal features without disarticulation makes it particularly valuable for the study of museum collections, which house millions of physical specimens documenting the spatio-temporal pat...
Preprint
Full-text available
High-resolution X-ray microcomputed tomography, or microCT (μCT), enables the digital imaging of whole objects in three dimensions. The power of μCT to visualise internal features without disarticulation makes it particularly valuable for the study of museum collections, which house millions of physical specimens documenting the spatio-temporal pat...
Article
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Cryptic lineages, comprising species complexes with deep genetic structuring across the landscape but without distinct morphological differences, impose substantial difficulties for systematists and taxonomists in determining true species diversity. Here, we present an integrative approach that combines data from phylogeography and geometric morpho...
Article
- Morphologically cryptic taxa have proved to be a long-standing challenge for taxonomists. Lineages that show strong genomic structuring across the landscape but are phenotypically similar pose a conundrum, with traditional morphological analyses of these cryptic lineages struggling to keep up with species delimitation advances. Micro X-ray comput...
Article
The Derwent River seastar, ‘Marginaster’ littoralis (Echinodermata: Asteroidea), has been assessed as critically endangered owing to its highly restricted range within one estuary in Tasmania, Australia. However, there have been concerns about the validity and status of the species. Here, we use non-invasive X-ray computed tomography to review the...
Article
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The past two decades have seen a revolution in digital imaging techniques for capturing gross morphology, offering an unprecedented volume of data for biological research. Despite the rapid increase in scientific publications incorporating those images, the underlying datasets remain largely inaccessible. As the technical barriers to data sharing c...
Article
Worm lizards, or amphisbaenians, of the genus Blanus are found in various countries around the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to four extinct species, seven extant taxa are currently recognized. Here, we present the first comparative analysis of the cranial osteology of Blanus including all extant species. The results of this analysis show a homoge...
Article
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In contrast to the extraordinary adaptive radiation of Caribbean Anolis lizards, head-first burrowing worm lizards (Amphisbaenia) of the Greater Antilles show a high degree of evolutionary conservatism in both taxonomic and phenotypic diversity. While Caribbean anoles reach over 160 endemic species and six ecomorphs, amphisbaenians peak at one to s...
Article
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The anatomy of African lacertid lizards (Lacertidae: Eremiadini) is poorly known, which has hindered a better understanding of their evolutionary relationships. This applies especially to the East African clade, which includes the genera Nucras, Latastia, Philochortus, Pseuderemias and Heliobolus. We present a detailed description of the skull oste...
Article
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The Tasmanian tiger or thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was an iconic Australian marsupial predator that was hunted to extinction in the early 1900s. Despite sharing striking similarities with canids, they failed to evolve many of the specialized anatomical features that characterize carnivorous placental mammals. These evolutionary limitations...
Article
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The Tasmanian tiger or thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was the largest carnivorous Australian marsupial to survive into the modern era. Despite last sharing a common ancestor with the eutherian canids ~160 million years ago, their phenotypic resemblance is considered the most striking example of convergent evolution in mammals. The last known t...
Article
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Phenotypic convergence has confounded evolutionary biologists for centuries, explained as adaptations to shared selective pressures, or alternatively, the result of limited developmental pathways. We tested the relative roles of adaptation and constraint in generating convergent cranial morphologies across a large lizard radiation, the Lacertidae,...
Article
One of the aspects of impact cratering that are still not fully understood is the formation of shatter cones and related fracturing phenomena. Yet, shatter cones have been applied as an impact-diagnostic criterion for decades without the role of shock waves and target rock defects in their formation having been elucidated ever. We have tested the a...
Article
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The fossorial amphisbaenians, or worm lizards, are characterized by a suite of specialized characters in the skull and postcranium, however fossil evidence suggests that at least some of these shared derived traits evolved convergently. Unfortunately the lack of detailed knowledge of many fossil taxa has rendered a more precise interpretation diffi...
Article
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Amphisbaenians are fossorial, predominantly limbless squamate reptiles with distinct cranial shapes corresponding to specific burrowing behaviors. Due to their cryptic lifestyles and the scarcity of museum specimens, little is known of their intraspecific variation, particularly regarding cranial osteology. This represents a critical lack of inform...
Article
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Scincine lizards in Madagascar form an endemic clade of about 60 species exhibiting a variety of ecomorphological adaptations. Several subclades have adapted to burrowing and convergently regressed their limbs and eyes, resulting in a variety of partial and completely limbless morphologies among extant taxa. However, patterns of limb regression in...
Article
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Genitalia are rapidly evolving morphological structures most likely under sexual selection. Due to their internal nature they are often hidden inside the body, thus morpho-functional studies of animal genitalia are broadly lacking. Males of some bushcricket taxa bear paired genital appendices called titillators, the exact function of which is unkno...
Article
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Being descendants of small terrestrial ungulate mammals, whales underwent enormous transformations during their evolutionary history, that is, extensive changes in anatomy, physiology, and behavior were evolved during secondary adaptations to life in water. However, still only little is known about whale ontogenetic development, which help to ident...
Article
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Abstract Genetically determined polymorphisms incorporating multiple traits can persist in nature under chronic, fluctuating, and sometimes conflicting selection pressures. Balancing selection among morphs preserves equilibrium frequencies, while correlational selection maintains favorable trait combinations within each morph. Under negative freque...
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Molecular-based divergence dating methods, or molecular clocks, are the primary neontological tool for estimating the temporal origins of clades. While the appropriate use of vertebrate fossils as external clock calibrations has stimulated heated discussions in the paleontological community, less attention has been given to the quality and implemen...
Article
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While global variation in taxonomic diversity is strongly linked to latitude, the extent to which morphological disparity follows geographical gradients is less well known. We estimated patterns of lineage diversification, morphological disparity and rates of phenotypic evolution in the Old World lizard family Lacertidae, which displays a nearly in...
Article
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Rhineurid amphisbaenians are represented by a rich Cenozoic fossil record in North America, but today conisist of a single living species restricted to the Florida Peninsula. Such relict endemism may be the result of phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC), the retention of ancestral traits preventing expansion into new environments. Most tests of PN...
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New distribution record of the lacertid lizard Pedioplanis undata and an updated distribution map.
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We describe a new small-sized microhylid frog of the genus Stumpffia and provide a preliminary survey of Stumpffia diversity in northern and northwestern Madagascar based on molecular and morphological data. Analysis of 68 previously published and 142 newly generated DNA sequences of a fragment of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene revealed a large ge...
Article
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Background Lepidosauria (lizards, snakes, tuatara) is a globally distributed and ecologically important group of over 9,000 reptile species. The earliest fossil records are currently restricted to the Late Triassic and often dated to 227 million years ago (Mya). As these early records include taxa that are relatively derived in their morphology (e....
Article
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Abstract Background Lepidosauria (lizards, snakes, tuatara) is a globally distributed and ecologically important group of over 9,000 reptile species. The earliest fossil records are currently restricted to the Late Triassic and often dated to 227 million years ago (Mya). As these early records include taxa that are relatively derived in their morph...
Article
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The “forelimbs only” bauplan, characterised by the combined presence of well-developed fingered forelimbs and the complete absence of hindlimbs, is rare among terrestrial tetrapods. It is restricted to three lineages of squamates with elongated worm-like bodies, the amphisbaenian genus Bipes Lacépède, 1788 and the scincid genera Sirenoscincus Sakat...
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Computed tomography (CT) has become a major tool to elucidate the anatomy of fossil taxa, including the braincase and inner ear. However, sample size is still limited and studies have concentrated mainly on saurischian dinosaurs. Here we report on the braincase anatomy of the Upper Jurassic ornithopod Dysalotosaurus using high-resolution X-ray micr...
Article
Hybridization can drive the convergence of territorial and sexual signals. However, non-genetic processes such as competition, environment matching, or cultural transmission, also generate this pattern. We investigated the effect of hybridization on song convergence between two interspecifically territorial warblers in a moving hybrid zone. We conf...
Article
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Amphisbaenia is a speciose clade of fossorial lizards characterized by a snake-like body and a strongly reinforced skull adapted for head-first burrowing. The evolutionary origins of amphisbaenians are controversial, with molecular data uniting them with lacertids, a clade of Old World terrestrial lizards, whereas morphology supports a grouping wit...
Article
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Females commonly incorporate information from more than 1 male trait when making mating decisions, which may increase their ability to choose high-quality males. Assessment of multiple male traits may also incur increasing costs of time and/or energy and should therefore provide an adaptive advantage over females that do not exhibit such complex ma...
Article
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Although current molecular clock methods offer greater flexibility in modelling evolutionary events, calibration of the clock with dates from the fossil record is still problematic for many groups. Here we implement several new approaches in molecular dating to estimate the evolutionary ages of Lacertidae, an Old World family of lizards with a poor...
Data
Full-text available
Lacertid clade ages. Mean divergence dates, followed by error ranges, estimated under four different Bayesian molecular clock models using 10% and 20% prior probability distributions. Model abbreviations are Uncorrelated lognormal (ULN), Dirichlet Model (DM), Compound Poisson Process (CPP), and the strict molecular clock (MC). Additional analyses u...