Posts Tagged ‘morphometrics’

Looks can be deceiving

Looks can be deceiving

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

We are all taught not to judge a book by its cover, it’s what inside that counts. Our new paper published in PeerJ shows that the same is true for tenrecs. These cute Madagascar natives are often used as an example of a mammal family with high morphological diversity. It’s easy to see why: there are tenrecs which resemble shrews, moles, hedgehogs and even otters. These differences are even more remarkable when you consider that tenrecs are more closely related to elephants and aardvarks than they are to any of the small, “insectivore” mammals. One of only [&hellip

Trophy Hunters

Trophy Hunters

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

It may be an inconvenient truth in these conservation-focused times but we owe a debt of gratitude to the trophy hunters; the army officers and colonial-types who killed animals for sport and prestige. Without their considerable efforts, the vaults of natural history museums would be devoid of the skeletons and skins which form the bases of both exhibitions and many PhD and MSc. theses. Of course, were it not for the over-zealous efforts of hunters perhaps many charismatic animal species wouldn’t be so endangered now but let’s focus on the positives here… Naturally, if you’re a hunter [&hellip

Morphometrics are fantastic!

Morphometrics are fantastic!

By EcoEvo@TCD | Seminars

As I mentioned in a former blog post, we invited François Gould (@PaleoGould) to enlighten us about the murky world of geometric morphometrics. His talk and workshop were eventually described by some people (@SiveFinlay – to protect her identity) as “the best day of [their] PhD so far!” I will clumsily try to summarize our awesome day of morphometrics. What? François emphasized the importance of seeing geometric morphometrics (hereafter let’s be familiar and just call it morphometrics) as a toolkit of methods for shape variation analysis more than a discipline in itself. So one can use this [&hellip

An army of skeletons with lasers

An army of skeletons with lasers

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

The word “Morphometrics” was already mentioned on this blog here and here. It’s a horrible term which nevertheless describes a really cool field in evolutionary science… Today we’re having a workshop with François Gould (@PaleoGould) so hopefully everyone will know more about all things morpho by the end of the day. I won’t go into the juicy details of procrustes analyses, elliptic Fourier transform or other Bezier polynomials (see Zelditch and colleagues “Geometric Morphometrics” book or Julien Claude’s excellent “Morphometrics with R” for further details about these friendly terms). Instead, I’d like to talk about one aspect [&hellip

Morphological convergence and disparity in Malagasy tenrecs

Morphological convergence and disparity in Malagasy tenrecs

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

“I wish to register a complaint…” the first six months of my PhD have passed by far too quickly. As the date of departure for my first major data collection trip looms, I’m navigating the exciting but unnerving transition from the planning to action stages of my project. Fortunately the members of NERD club were on hand to very kindly listen to my ramblings and provide excellent ideas to add to and modify my research. Here’s the plan so far… Evolutionary studies have long-been concerned with understanding patterns of variation in morphological diversity. Two aspects of morphological variation which [&hellip