Skip to Main Content
GEOREF RECORD

Morphological innovation and the evolution of hadrosaurid dinosaurs

Thomas L. Stubbs, Michael J. Benton, Armin Elsler and Albert Prieto-Marquez
Morphological innovation and the evolution of hadrosaurid dinosaurs
Paleobiology (May 2019) 45 (2): 347-362

Abstract

The hadrosaurids were a successful group of herbivorous dinosaurs. During the Late Cretaceous, 100 to 66 million years ago, hadrosaurids had high diversity, rapid speciation rates, and wide geographic distribution. Most hadrosaurids were large bodied and had similar postcranial skeletons. However, they show important innovations in the skull, including disparate crests that functioned as socio-sexual display structures, and a complex feeding apparatus, with specialized jaws bearing dental batteries. Little is known about the macroevolutionary processes that produced these evolutionary novelties. Here we provide novel perspectives using evolutionary rate and disparity analyses. Our results show that hadrosaurid cranial evolution was complex and dynamic, but their postcranial skeleton and body size were conservative. High cranial disparity was achieved through multiple bursts of phenotypic innovation. We highlight contrasting evolutionary trends within hadrosaurids between the disparate facial skeleton and crests, which both showed multiple high-rate shifts, and the feeding apparatus, which had low variance and high rates on a single phylogenetic branch leading to the diverse Saurolophidae. We reveal that rapid evolutionary rates were important for producing the high disparity of exaggerated crests and present novel evidence that the hadrosaurid diversification was linked to both a key adaptive innovation in the feeding apparatus and multiple bursts of innovation in socio-sexual displays.


ISSN: 0094-8373
EISSN: 1938-5331
Coden: PALBBM
Serial Title: Paleobiology
Serial Volume: 45
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Morphological innovation and the evolution of hadrosaurid dinosaurs
Affiliation: University of Bristol, School of Earth Sciences, Bristol, United Kingdom
Pages: 347-362
Published: 201905
Text Language: English
Publisher: Paleontological Society, Lawrence, KS, United States
References: 83
Accession Number: 2019-062061
Categories: Vertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Secondary Affiliation: Field Museum of Natural History, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, The Paleontological Society. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201915
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal