[Back to Meeting 2007]

SICB 2007 Symposium

Phoenix, Arizona
January 3 - 7, 2007

The Evolution of Feeding Mechanisms in Vertebrates

Organized by Timothy Higham and Peter Wainwright

Symposium Abstract:

This symposium will examine the diversity of feeding mechanisms in most of the major vertebrate groups including bony fishes, cartilaginous fishes, amphibians, snakes, lizards, mammals, dinosaurs, birds and bats. Unifying concepts to be addressed include the evolutionary trends, innovations and patterns of diversity that characterize each of these major groups as well as transformations between groups. Several questions will be addressed from this symposium, such as whether the major axes of diversity in feeding functional morphology are similar across the major vertebrate groups. It is possible that several groups of vertebrates include species that have exploited similar resources, thus exhibiting comparable trends in morphological diversity. If this is not the case, then what factors could be contributing to these differences? Are these groups of similar age? Could limitations of body plan design be inhibiting diversification within some groups? Alternatively, can innovations be identified that permitted breakthroughs in patterns of diversification? In addition to the taxon-specific contributions, this symposium will address the evolutionary relationships between locomotion and feeding and the influences of mechanical and material properties on the evolution of feeding diversity. Ultimately we hope that the symposium will produce a synthesis of major patterns and repeating themes in vertebrate trophic diversity, the nature of innovation and possible constraints on feeding mechanism evolution.

Sources of Support:

The Division of Vertebrate Morphology (http://www.sicb.org/divisions/dvm.php3 )

The Company of Biologists (on behalf of The Journal of Experimental Biology) (http://jeb.biologists.org/)

Fastec Imaging (http://www.fastecimaging.com/ )

Speakers and Topics:

Mason Dean and Adam Summers (University of California, Irvine): "Feeding mechanisms in skates and rays"

Stephen Deban (University of South Florida): "Feeding mechanisms in amphibians"

Elizabeth Dumont (University of Massachusetts, Amherst): "Feeding mechanisms in bats"

Anthony Herrel (University of Antwerp, Belgium): "The evolution of cranial design and performance in lepidosaurians: consequences of skull bone reduction on feeding behavior"

Timothy Higham (Harvard University): "The evolution of locomotion during feeding"

Nate Kley (Stony Brook University): Feeding mechanisms in snakes

Callum Ross (University of Chicago): "The evolution of mechanical properties during feeding"

Margaret Rubega (University of Connecticut): "Feeding mechanisms in birds"

Blaire Van Valkenburgh (University of California, Los Angeles): "Evolution of Feeding Morphologies in the Carnivora"

Peter Wainwright (University of California, Davis): "Feeding mechanisms in bony fishes"

Cheryl Wilga (University of Rhode Island), Philip Motta (University of South Florida), Christopher Sanford: "Feeding mechanisms in cartilaginous fishes"
http://www.uri.edu/artsci/bio/wilga/ (Cheryl)
http://luna.cas.usf.edu/%7Emotta/ (Philip)