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On the morphospace of eurypterine sea scorpions

On the morphospace of eurypterine sea scorpions ABSTRACT Eurypterids (sea scorpions) are a group of extinct, marine euchelicerates that have an extensive Palaeozoic record. Despite lacking a biomineralised exoskeleton, eurypterids are abundantly preserved within select deposits. These collections make statistical analyses comparing the morphology of different genera possible. However, eurypterid shape has not yet been documented with modern geometric morphometric tools. Here, we summarise the previous statistical assessments of eurypterid morphology and expand this research by presenting landmark and semi-landmark analyses of 115 eurypterid specimens within the suborder Eurypterina. We illustrate that lateral compound eye morphology and position drives specimen placement in morphospace and separates proposed apex predators from more generalist forms. Additionally, evidence for size clusters in Eurypterus that may reflect ontogeny is uncovered. We highlight the use of geometric morphometric analyses in supporting the naming of new taxa and demonstrate that these shape data represent a novel means of understanding inter-generic ontogenetic trajectories and uncovering developmental changes within the diverse euarthropod group. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of The Royal Society of Edinburgh Cambridge University Press

On the morphospace of eurypterine sea scorpions


Abstract

ABSTRACT Eurypterids (sea scorpions) are a group of extinct, marine euchelicerates that have an extensive Palaeozoic record. Despite lacking a biomineralised exoskeleton, eurypterids are abundantly preserved within select deposits. These collections make statistical analyses comparing the morphology of different genera possible. However, eurypterid shape has not yet been documented with modern geometric morphometric tools. Here, we summarise the previous statistical assessments of eurypterid morphology and expand this research by presenting landmark and semi-landmark analyses of 115 eurypterid specimens within the suborder Eurypterina. We illustrate that lateral compound eye morphology and position drives specimen placement in morphospace and separates proposed apex predators from more generalist forms. Additionally, evidence for size clusters in Eurypterus that may reflect ontogeny is uncovered. We highlight the use of geometric morphometric analyses in supporting the naming of new taxa and demonstrate that these shape data represent a novel means of understanding inter-generic ontogenetic trajectories and uncovering developmental changes within the diverse euarthropod group.

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Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Royal Society of Edinburgh
ISSN
1755-6929
eISSN
1755-6910
DOI
10.1017/S175569102100030X
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT Eurypterids (sea scorpions) are a group of extinct, marine euchelicerates that have an extensive Palaeozoic record. Despite lacking a biomineralised exoskeleton, eurypterids are abundantly preserved within select deposits. These collections make statistical analyses comparing the morphology of different genera possible. However, eurypterid shape has not yet been documented with modern geometric morphometric tools. Here, we summarise the previous statistical assessments of eurypterid morphology and expand this research by presenting landmark and semi-landmark analyses of 115 eurypterid specimens within the suborder Eurypterina. We illustrate that lateral compound eye morphology and position drives specimen placement in morphospace and separates proposed apex predators from more generalist forms. Additionally, evidence for size clusters in Eurypterus that may reflect ontogeny is uncovered. We highlight the use of geometric morphometric analyses in supporting the naming of new taxa and demonstrate that these shape data represent a novel means of understanding inter-generic ontogenetic trajectories and uncovering developmental changes within the diverse euarthropod group.

Journal

Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of The Royal Society of EdinburghCambridge University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2022

Keywords: Euchelicerata; Eurypterida; geometric morphometrics; morphology; ontogeny

References