The developing bird pelvis passes through ancestral dinosaurian conditions

Griffin, Christopher T.; Botelho, Joao F.; Hanson, Michael; Fabbri, Matteo; Smith-Paredes, Daniel; Carney, Ryan M.; Norell, Mark A.; Egawa, Shiro; Gatesy, Stephen M.; Rowe, Timothy B.; Elsey, Ruth M.; Nesbitt, Sterling J.; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S.


Living birds (Aves) have bodies substantially modified from the ancestral reptilian condition. The avian pelvis in particular experienced major changes during the transition from early archosaurs to living birds(1,2). This stepwise transformation is well documented by an excellent fossil record(2-4); however, the ontogenetic alterations that underly it are less well understood. We used embryological imaging techniques to examine the morphogenesis of avian pelvic tissues in three dimensions, allowing direct comparison with the fossil record. Many ancestral dinosaurian features(2) (for example, a forward-facing pubis, short ilium and pubic 'boot') are transiently present in the early morphogenesis of birds and arrive at their typical 'avian' form after transitioning through a prenatal developmental sequence that mirrors the phylogenetic sequence of character acquisition. We demonstrate quantitatively that avian pelvic ontogeny parallels the non-avian dinosaur-to-bird transition and provide evidence for phenotypic covariance within the pelvis that is conserved across Archosauria. The presence of ancestral states in avian embryos may stem from this conserved covariant relationship. In sum, our data provide evidence that the avian pelvis, whose early development has been little studied(5-7), evolved through terminal addition-a mechanism(8-10 )whereby new apomorphic states are added to the end of a developmental sequence, resulting in expression(8,11) of ancestral character states earlier in that sequence. The phenotypic integration we detected suggests a previously unrecognized mechanism for terminal addition and hints that retention of ancestral states in development is common during evolutionary transitions.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000831072400003 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: NATURE
Volumen: 608
Número: 7922
Editorial: Nature Publishing Group
Fecha de publicación: 2022
Página de inicio: 346
Página final: +


Notas: ISI