Croc skulls evolved via developmental shifts

February 20, 2019

Proud to announce that Zach Morris has published the first chapter of his thesis research! Zach quantified skull shape development across all species of living crocodilians - from embryos to adults. He showed that by tinkering with their developmental strategies, crocodiles have been able to evolve all major ecomorph morphologies - from blunt and wide snouts to long and narrow. 

Morris, Z.S., K.A. Vliet, A. Abzhanov, and S.E. Pierce. 2019. “Heterochronic shifts and conserved embryonic shape underlie crocodylian craniofacial disparity and convergence.” Proceedings of the Royal Society, B, https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.2389.

The research was covered by the Harvard Gazzette!

CrocGazette