Replicated divergence in cichlid radiations mirrors a major vertebrate innovation

Matthew D. McGee, Brant C. Faircloth, Samuel R. Borstein, Jimmy Zheng, C. Darrin Hulsey, Peter C. Wainwright, Michael E. Alfaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Decoupling of the upper jawbones—jawkinesis—is a distinctive feature of the ray-finned fishes, but it is not clear how the innovation is related to the extraordinary diversity of feeding behaviours and feeding ecology in this group. We address this issue in a lineage of ray-finned fishes that is well known for its ecological and functional diversity—African rift lake cichlids. We sequenced ultraconserved elements to generate a phylogenomic tree of the Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi cichlid radiations. We filmed a diverse array of over 50 cichlid species capturing live prey and quantified the extent of jaw kinesis in the premaxillary and maxillary bones. Our combination of phylogenomic and kinematic data reveals a strong association between biting modes of feeding and reduced jaw kinesis, suggesting that the contrasting demands of biting and suction feeding have strongly influenced cranial evolution in both cichlid radiations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20151413
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume283
Issue number1822
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Evolutionary innovation
  • Kinematics
  • Ultraconserved elements

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