Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

An outline morphometric approach to identifying fossil spiders: A preliminary examination from the Florissant Formation

By
April Kinchloe Roberts
April Kinchloe Roberts
1
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0399, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
Dena M. Smith
Dena M. Smith
2
University of Colorado Museum of Natural History—Paleontology and Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0265, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
Robert P. Guralnick
Robert P. Guralnick
3
University of Colorado Museum of Natural History—Invertebrate Zoology and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0334, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
Paula E. Cushing
Paula E. Cushing
4
Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver, Colorado 80205, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
Jonathan Krieger
Jonathan Krieger
5
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0334, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 2008

Using available shape characters we conducted an outline morphometric analysis to make family-level identifications of fossil spiders from the Florissant Formation in Colorado. In this analysis we used carapace shape because it is a character that can be observed on most fossil spiders, and we also used linear leg characters. All measurements were first made on 202 modern spiders from eight families found in localities similar to the fossil lake environment. A multiple discriminant analysis (MDA) of the eigenshape axes was used to predict family placement among the modern data set to test the accuracy of the predictions. The modern spider families that were predicted correctly most often were the Salticidae (91.2%), Linyphiidae (80%), Dictynidae (76.5%), Tetragnathidae (68.2%), Clubionidae (66.7%), and Araneidae (65.5%). Families that produced less successful results were the Agelenidae (46.7%) and the Lycosidae (39.1%). Forty-three fossil spiders from Florissant were then added to the model to determine their family placement. All fossils were placed into modern families with varying degrees of accuracy. Only 42% of our identifications agree with those made by previous authors, but it is likely that these specimens were originally misidentified. With the addition of more taxa and characters, we believe that an outline morphometric approach shows great promise for helping to identify fossil taxa that are lacking traditional taxonomic characters.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

GSA Special Papers

Paleontology of the Upper Eocene Florissant Formation, Colorado

Herbert W. Meyer
Herbert W. Meyer
Search for other works by this author on:
Dena M. Smith
Dena M. Smith
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of America
Volume
435
ISBN print:
9780813724355
Publication date:
January 01, 2008

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal