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Phenotypic evolution in a venerid bivalve species lineage from the late Middle Miocene Central Paratethys Sea: a multi-approach morphometric analysis
Neubauer, T.A.; Harzhauser, M.; Mandic, O. (2013). Phenotypic evolution in a venerid bivalve species lineage from the late Middle Miocene Central Paratethys Sea: a multi-approach morphometric analysis. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 110(2): 320-334. hdl.handle.net/10.1111/bij.12120
In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0024-4066, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Fast Fourier transforms; Functional morphology; Landmarks; Marine
Author keywords
    Late Sarmatian; Relative warps

Authors  Top 
  • Neubauer, T.A.
  • Harzhauser, M.
  • Mandic, O.

Abstract
    A morphometric analysis was performed for the late Middle Miocene bivalve species lineage of Polititapes tricuspis (Eichwald, 1829) (Veneridae: Tapetini). Specimens from various localities grouped into two stratigraphically successive biozones, i.e. the upper Ervilia Zone and the Sarmatimactra Zone, were investigated using a multi-method approach. A Generalized Procrustes Analysis was computed for 15 landmarks, covering characteristics of the hinge, muscle scars, and pallial line. The shell outline was separately quantified by applying the Fast Fourier Transform, which redraws the outline by fitting in a combination of trigonometric curves. Shell size was calculated as centroid size from the landmark configuration. Shell thickness, not covered by either analysis, was additionally measured at the centroid. The analyses showed significant phenotypic differentiation between specimens from the two biozones. The bivalves become distinctly larger and thicker over geological time and develop circular shells with stronger cardinal teeth and a deeper pallial sinus. Data on the palaeoenvironmental changes in the late Middle Miocene Central Paratethys Sea suggest the phenotypic shifts to be functional adaptations. The typical habitats for Polititapes changed to extensive, very shallow shores exposed to high wave action and tidal activity. Caused by the growing need for higher mechanical stability, the bivalves produced larger and thicker shells with stronger cardinal teeth. The latter are additionally shifted towards the hinge centre to compensate for the lacking lateral teeth and improve stability. The deepening pallial sinus is related to a deeper burrowing habit, which is considered to impede being washed out in the new high-energy settings.

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