Publication Date: 2011.
We tested the applicability of Allen ' s rule in 47 species and 32 unnamed forms (populations that are probably good species or undefined taxa within a superspecies or species group) of the South American subterranean Hystricomorph rodents of the genus Ctenomys (tuco-tucos) (Rodentia: Ctenomyidae) by analyzing tail length in relation with head and body length, and body mass. Tail length allometry was analyzed by Reduced Major Axis regression while the possible correlation of relative tail length with temperature, precipitation and evapotranspiration variables was explored through Simultaneous Autoregression to account for spatial autocorrelations. Our results indicate that tuco-tucos do not follow Allen ' s rule but its converse, tail proportion relative to body mass increasing with latitude while body size decreases in the same direction (the trend is similar for tail length relative to head and body length but not statistically significant). Regarding climatic variables, the main predictors of relative tail length were temperature and evapotranspiration variables with trends confirming the positive (non-Allenian) correlation of relative tail length with latitude. We conclude that tuco-tucos, being almost fully subterranean, thermoregulate behaviorally by maintaining constant temperatures within their burrows independent of geographic location. The former confirms previous results that indicated that Ctenomys follows the converse to Bergmann ' s rule. Relative tail length variation would be a result of simple allometric growth. © 2011 by Walter de Gruyter.
Author affiliation: Bidau, C.J. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales; Argentina.
Keywords: Allometry; Body proportions; Climate; Geographic cline; Subterranean rodent; allometry; body mass; body size; climate variation; cohort analysis; correlation; evapotranspiration; geographical distribution; rodent; subterranean environment; tail feather; thermoregulation; Caviomorpha; Ctenomyidae; Ctenomys; Hystricognathi; Mammalia; Rodentia.
Repository: Biblioteca Digital (UBA-FCEN). Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales
Publication Date: 2017.
Since its original description as a feather belonging to a basal bird, the phylogenetic position of Praeornis sharovi was debated. It was considered as belonging to a bird, a cycad leaf, or as a ‘transitional’ integumentary structure between reptile scales and bird feathers. Recently, a basal enantiornithine bird was collected in Early Cretaceous beds of Brazil. This specimen shows very well-preserved rachis-dominated tail feathers with a very thick rachis and thick and rigid barbules. These features are present in Praeornis, suggesting that this fossil may be interpreted as the tail feather of a basal bird. In this way, Praeornis constitutes one of the oldest records of rachis-dominated feathers in the world. Rachis-dominated tail feathers, including that of Praeornis appear to be rigid paired structures not performed for aerodynamical purposes, suggesting that may be important in body balance.
Author affiliation: Agnolin, Federico. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Parque Centenario. Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadavia"; Argentina. Fundación de Historia Natural Félix de Azara; Argentina. Universidad Maimónides; Argentina
Author affiliation: Rozadilla, Sebastian. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Parque Centenario. Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadavia"; Argentina
Author affiliation: de Souza Carvalho, Ismar. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; Brasil
Repository: CONICET Digital (CONICET). Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas