D. Rex Mitchell

D. Rex Mitchell
Flinders University · College of Science and Engineering

PhD

About

16
Publications
4,750
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54
Citations
Introduction
Researcher of vertebrate feeding biomechanics - I use Finite Element Analysis and Geometric Morphometrics.

Publications

Publications (16)
Article
Increasing body size is accompanied by facial elongation across a number of mammalian taxa. This trend forms the basis of a proposed evolutionary rule, cranial evolutionary allometry (CREA). However, facial length has also been widely associated with the varying mechanical resistance of foods. Here, we combine geometric morphometrics and computatio...
Article
Full-text available
The Sthenurinae were a diverse subfamily of short-faced kangaroos that arose in the Mio-cene and diversified during the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Many species possessed skull morphologies that were relatively structurally reinforced with bone, suggesting that they were adapted to incorporate particularly resistant foods into their diets. However, t...
Article
Full-text available
The rescue and rehabilitation of young fauna is of substantial importance to conservation. However, it has been suggested that incongruous diets offered in captive environments may alter craniofacial morphology and hinder the success of reintroduced animals. Despite these claims, to what extent dietary variation throughout ontogeny impacts intrapop...
Article
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the direct interface between the mandible and the cranium and is critical for transmitting joint reaction forces and determining mandibular range of motion. As a consequence, understanding variation in the morphology of this joint and how it relates to other aspects of craniofacial form is important for better u...
Article
The extinct Haast's eagle or harpagornis ( Hieraaetus moorei ) is the largest known eagle. Historically, it was first considered a predator, then a scavenger, but most recent authors have favoured an active hunting ecology. However, the veracity of proposed similarities to carrion feeders has not been thoroughly tested. To infer feeding capability...
Article
Objectives Craniofacial fluctuating asymmetry (FA) refers to the random deviations from symmetry exhibited across the craniofacial complex and can be used as a measure of developmental instability for organisms with bilateral symmetry. This article addresses the lack of data on craniofacial FA in nonhuman primates by analyzing FA magnitude and vari...
Presentation
Full-text available
We found that when researchers preferentially seek to only landmark specimens in good condition, they may be ignoring entire demographic-specific shape data from groups of individuals more likely to exhibit damage and/or pathology.
Article
Obtaining coordinate data for geometric morphometric studies often involves the sampling of dry skeletal specimens from museum collections. But many specimens exhibit damage and/or pathologic conditions. Such specimens can be considered inadequate for the analyses of shape and are excluded from study. However, the influences that damaged specimens...
Article
The sparse record of Cretaceous crocodyliforms in Australia comprises only three species, all within the genus Isisfordia. Isisfordia duncani Salisbury et al., 2006 is from the Albian-Turonian Winton Formation of Queensland, and both Isisfordia molnari Hart et al., 2019 and Isisfordia selaslophensis Etheridge, 1917 have been described from opalized...
Article
Large brains are a defining feature of primates, as is a clear allometric trend between body mass and brain size. However, important questions on the macroevolution of brain shape in primates remain unanswered. Here we address two: (i), does the relationship between the brain size and its shape follow allometric trends and (ii), is this relationshi...
Article
Full-text available
Interspecific variation in the craniofacial morphology of kangaroos and wallabies is associated with diet and feeding behaviors. Yet, to how fine a taxonomic scale this relationship might exist is unknown. Using a combination of established morphometric analyses and novel finite element approaches, we test the limits of these associations by examin...
Article
Large herbivores can act as keystone species that strongly influence their communities. During the Pliocene and Pleistocene, Australia was dominated by a number of large to gigantic marsupial herbivore taxa. Many of these have been understudied quantitatively with regard to their ecology; and identifying the diet of these species will improve our u...
Article
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Octopus kapalae, sp. nov. is described from preserved specimens housed in the Australian Museum, Sydney. The species is found on the edge of the continental shelf off south-eastern Australia, at depths between 176 m and 503 m. The possession of large eggs suggests the young hatch as miniature adults and do not disperse widely. The species may be en...
Article
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The Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor), maintains a broad distribution along the eastern coast of Australia and records have indicated that its range may be expanding. Reported here is the first record of the species from the Barossa Valley region, South Australia. The specimen was deceased when collected and vouchered in the South Australian Museum....
Article
Full-text available
The highly invasive freshwater snail, Physa acuta, was examined for parasites over temporal and spatial scales. All populations studied had a high prevalence of the parasitic morph of the oligochaete worm, Chaetogaster limnaei. This worm was also found to infect two native snails, Glyptophysa gibbosa and Austropeplea tomentosa, at lower prevalences...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
Using a combination of shape analyses and biomechanical analyses, I am investigating the relationship between dietary preference and the shape and structure of the cranium in diprotodonts; with emphasis on the Macropodiformes (Kangaroos, wallabies, bettongs, potoroos, and the musky rat-kangaroo). The findings from this project will allow future research to predict potential feeding ecologies from morphological attributes of the crania, for both extant and extinct species. This information can be useful for the conservation and management of threatened or endangered species and for better understanding prehistoric environments.