Publication Date: 2016.
The axial and appendicular skeleton, the associated musculature and tendons form a functional system related to specific modes of locomotion in anurans. Many transformations in the structures linked with the locomotor function of the adult occur during larval stages and metamorphosis. In this study, we present the larval ontogeny and adult morphology of the axial and appendicular skeletons of 14 species of frogs in the family Hylidae with different locomotor modes and habitat uses. Among Hylidae, a diversity of shapes, locomotory types occurs (e.g., walker, swimmer, jumper, hopper) and different habitat types occupied (shrubby, terrestrial, aquatic, arboreal). Many elements complete differentiation at the end of metamorphosis; others, such as sesamoids, still show an incomplete development at that stage. Sixty seven characters were scored and optimized in an available phylogeny. Nine characters of developmental timing and adult osteology are optimized as synapomorphies of specific groups. Some characters appear to be related to the locomotor type (e.g., the sacro-urostyle region configuration is highly linked with the jumping mode; nonexpanded diapophyses would related to aquatic habitat use). Nevertheless, the functional interpretations are quite particular to this family. Monophyletic clades are also groups with shared locomotory modes or habitat uses. Hence, the hypothesis of common ancestry or adaptation can be evaluated, taking into account the analysis level of the phylogenetic context, so that, when a character is inherited via common ancestry, it necessarily means that functional constraints could also be inherited. Here, we outline the basis for further work on: postmetamorphic development as a fundamental period for the complete differentiation of structures related to a full locomotor functionality; the biomechanical performance in relationship to the variation in ligaments and sesamoids; the importance of analyzing these topics within the frame of heterochrony. J. Morphol. 277:786-813, 2016.
Author affiliation: Soliz, Monica Carina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de Salta. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales; Argentina
Author affiliation: Ponssa, María Laura. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico - Tucumán. Unidad Ejecutora Lillo; Argentina
Repository: CONICET Digital (CONICET). Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas