Joint Seminar: The Evolution of Modern and Fossil Crocodyliforms

SEMINAIRE / SEMINAR

The Evolution of Snout Shape and Diet
Across Modern and Fossil Crocodyliforms

 By Stephanie K. Drumheller

 

25ème séance du séminaire /  25rd session of the seminar “Evolution: an international research seminar in Eastern Africa. Paleobiodiversity, paleobiology, prehistory, paleoenvironments (2015-2019)”

Date : Jeudi 27 juin 2019, 15h30-17h00 / Date: Thursday June 27, 2019, 03:30-05:00 pm

À / Venue: Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Meeting Hall (room 308)

When trying to understand diet and feeding behavior in extinct crocodile-relatives, paleontologists often turn to modern crocodylians to serve as proxies. Through direct observations of feeding interactions, tests of skull and toothmechanics, and other neontological methods, broad patterns linking crocodylian snout shape and prey preference have been found. These snout shape classifications help guide interpretations of not only other crocodile-relatives, but also of more distantly related groups such as phytosaurs, choristoderes, and dinosaurs. However, snout shape in fossil crocodylians and their more distant relatives is more diverse than that seen within living species alone and recent analyses of bite force, death roll behavior, and feeding interactions do not always align with established concepts of generalist vs. specialist snout shape categories. Dr. Drumheller’s current research is bringing together statistical analyses ofsnoutshape, observations of modern feeding behavior, and comparison of modern and fossil bite marks to better understand how crocodylian snout form and function worked together to shape aspects of this group’s evolution.

L’intervenant / The speaker

Stephanie K. Drumheller is a researcher at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, United States


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