In segmented animals it is possible to define morphological complexity as the degree of morphological differentiation of segments. A quantitative method for measuring morphological complexity of segmental patterns was devised by McShea (1992) who introduced three geometrical indices. Here, we introduce a new index of morphological complexity and emphasize the possible decoupling between segmentation and segment differentiation and illustrate different patterns of variation within segmental series and how these could affect morphological evolution and evolvability. Concepts are illustrated by contrasting the segmental models of two groups of centipedes (Chilopoda): the elongate Geophilomorpha and the short-bodied Lithobiomorpha. A preliminary application of the new metric provides no evidence of macroevolutionary increase in morphological complexity of centipede segmental organization.

Measuring morphological complexity of segmented animals: centipedes as model systems

FUSCO, GIUSEPPE;MINELLI, ALESSANDRO
2000

Abstract

In segmented animals it is possible to define morphological complexity as the degree of morphological differentiation of segments. A quantitative method for measuring morphological complexity of segmental patterns was devised by McShea (1992) who introduced three geometrical indices. Here, we introduce a new index of morphological complexity and emphasize the possible decoupling between segmentation and segment differentiation and illustrate different patterns of variation within segmental series and how these could affect morphological evolution and evolvability. Concepts are illustrated by contrasting the segmental models of two groups of centipedes (Chilopoda): the elongate Geophilomorpha and the short-bodied Lithobiomorpha. A preliminary application of the new metric provides no evidence of macroevolutionary increase in morphological complexity of centipede segmental organization.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2465457
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