The specialisation of the third metacarpal and hand in arboreal frogs: Adaptation for arboreal habitat?

The specialisation of the third metacarpal and hand in arboreal frogs: Adaptation for arboreal... Skeletal morphology is directly associated with habitat characteristics. To investigate the arboreal adaptation, we studied the osteological morphology of the forelimbs and the third metacarpals of arboreal frogs (Rhacophoridae and Hylidae) and non‐arboreal frogs (Bombinatoridae, Bufonidae, Megophryidae, Ranidae, and Microhylidae) using transparent specimens or X‐rays of skeletons. Our results revealed that the bony knob on the third metacarpal, which formed by a dilated and elongated lateral articular cartilage (AL) through endochondral ossification, occurred only in species of Rhacophorinae. The results of the phylogenetic comparative methods and correlation analysis strongly supported the conclusion that the bony knob is a phylogenetic independent evolution trait and had a significant correlation with the arboreal habitat. Furthermore, anatomical observation showed that a muscle adhered to the bony knob. Therefore, we speculated that the bony knob might act as an enlarged attachment point for larger or more musculatures to help with grasping. In addition, the relative length of the hand showed a significant difference between arboreal and non‐arboreal species (p = .007), suggesting that longer hands might be an arboreal adaptive trait. Overall, this study leads to a deeper understanding of the arboreal adaptation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Acta Zoologica Wiley

The specialisation of the third metacarpal and hand in arboreal frogs: Adaptation for arboreal habitat?

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Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
ISSN
0001-7272
eISSN
1463-6395
D.O.I.
10.1111/azo.12196
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Skeletal morphology is directly associated with habitat characteristics. To investigate the arboreal adaptation, we studied the osteological morphology of the forelimbs and the third metacarpals of arboreal frogs (Rhacophoridae and Hylidae) and non‐arboreal frogs (Bombinatoridae, Bufonidae, Megophryidae, Ranidae, and Microhylidae) using transparent specimens or X‐rays of skeletons. Our results revealed that the bony knob on the third metacarpal, which formed by a dilated and elongated lateral articular cartilage (AL) through endochondral ossification, occurred only in species of Rhacophorinae. The results of the phylogenetic comparative methods and correlation analysis strongly supported the conclusion that the bony knob is a phylogenetic independent evolution trait and had a significant correlation with the arboreal habitat. Furthermore, anatomical observation showed that a muscle adhered to the bony knob. Therefore, we speculated that the bony knob might act as an enlarged attachment point for larger or more musculatures to help with grasping. In addition, the relative length of the hand showed a significant difference between arboreal and non‐arboreal species (p = .007), suggesting that longer hands might be an arboreal adaptive trait. Overall, this study leads to a deeper understanding of the arboreal adaptation.

Journal

Acta ZoologicaWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ; ;

References

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