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Is variation in tail vertebral morphology linked to habitat use in chameleons?

Allison Luger (UGent) , Anouk Ollevier (UGent) , Barbara De Kegel (UGent) , Anthony Herrel (UGent) and Dominique Adriaens (UGent)
(2020) JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY. 281(2). p.229-239
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Abstract
Chameleons (Chamaeleonidae) are known for their arboreal lifestyle, in which they make use of their prehensile tail. Yet, some species have a more terrestrial lifestyle, such as Brookesia and Rieppeleon species, as well as some chameleons of the genera Chamaeleo and Bradypodion. The main goal of this study was to identify the key anatomical features of the tail vertebral morphology associated with prehensile capacity. Both interspecific and intra-individual variation in skeletal tail morphology was investigated. For this, a 3D-shape analysis was performed on vertebral morphology using mu CT-images of different species of prehensile and nonprehensile tailed chameleons. A difference in overall tail size and caudal vertebral morphology does exist between prehensile and nonprehensile taxa. Nonprehensile tailed species have a shorter tail with fewer vertebrae, a generally shorter neural spine and shorter transverse processes that are positioned more anteriorly (with respect to the vertebral center). The longer tails of prehensile species have more vertebrae as well as an increased length of the processes, likely providing a greater area for muscle attachment. At the intra-individual level, regional variation is observed with more robust proximal tail vertebrae having longer processes. The distal part has relatively longer vertebrae with shorter processes. Although longer, the small size and high number of the distal vertebrae allows the tail to coil around perches.
Keywords
Chamaeleonidae, grasping ability, morphology, prehensility, vertebrae, FUNCTIONAL-MORPHOLOGY, PREHENSILITY, LOCOMOTION, EVOLUTION, GROWTH, SAURIA

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MLA
Luger, Allison, et al. “Is Variation in Tail Vertebral Morphology Linked to Habitat Use in Chameleons?” JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY, vol. 281, no. 2, 2020, pp. 229–39.
APA
Luger, A., Ollevier, A., De Kegel, B., Herrel, A., & Adriaens, D. (2020). Is variation in tail vertebral morphology linked to habitat use in chameleons? JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY, 281(2), 229–239.
Chicago author-date
Luger, Allison, Anouk Ollevier, Barbara De Kegel, Anthony Herrel, and Dominique Adriaens. 2020. “Is Variation in Tail Vertebral Morphology Linked to Habitat Use in Chameleons?” JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY 281 (2): 229–39.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Luger, Allison, Anouk Ollevier, Barbara De Kegel, Anthony Herrel, and Dominique Adriaens. 2020. “Is Variation in Tail Vertebral Morphology Linked to Habitat Use in Chameleons?” JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY 281 (2): 229–239.
Vancouver
1.
Luger A, Ollevier A, De Kegel B, Herrel A, Adriaens D. Is variation in tail vertebral morphology linked to habitat use in chameleons? JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY. 2020;281(2):229–39.
IEEE
[1]
A. Luger, A. Ollevier, B. De Kegel, A. Herrel, and D. Adriaens, “Is variation in tail vertebral morphology linked to habitat use in chameleons?,” JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY, vol. 281, no. 2, pp. 229–239, 2020.
@article{8641332,
  abstract     = {Chameleons (Chamaeleonidae) are known for their arboreal lifestyle, in which they make use of their prehensile tail. Yet, some species have a more terrestrial lifestyle, such as Brookesia and Rieppeleon species, as well as some chameleons of the genera Chamaeleo and Bradypodion. The main goal of this study was to identify the key anatomical features of the tail vertebral morphology associated with prehensile capacity. Both interspecific and intra-individual variation in skeletal tail morphology was investigated. For this, a 3D-shape analysis was performed on vertebral morphology using mu CT-images of different species of prehensile and nonprehensile tailed chameleons. A difference in overall tail size and caudal vertebral morphology does exist between prehensile and nonprehensile taxa. Nonprehensile tailed species have a shorter tail with fewer vertebrae, a generally shorter neural spine and shorter transverse processes that are positioned more anteriorly (with respect to the vertebral center). The longer tails of prehensile species have more vertebrae as well as an increased length of the processes, likely providing a greater area for muscle attachment. At the intra-individual level, regional variation is observed with more robust proximal tail vertebrae having longer processes. The distal part has relatively longer vertebrae with shorter processes. Although longer, the small size and high number of the distal vertebrae allows the tail to coil around perches.},
  author       = {Luger, Allison and Ollevier, Anouk and De Kegel, Barbara and Herrel, Anthony and Adriaens, Dominique},
  issn         = {0362-2525},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY},
  keywords     = {Chamaeleonidae,grasping ability,morphology,prehensility,vertebrae,FUNCTIONAL-MORPHOLOGY,PREHENSILITY,LOCOMOTION,EVOLUTION,GROWTH,SAURIA},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {229--239},
  title        = {Is variation in tail vertebral morphology linked to habitat use in chameleons?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmor.21093},
  volume       = {281},
  year         = {2020},
}

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