Dumont and Colleagues Use New Tool to Analyze Bat Skull Shapes

Using a new approach that combines evolutionary and engineering analyses to identify the targets of natural selection, Biology professor Elizabeth Dumont and mechanical engineer Ian Grosse studied the evolutionary histories of the adaptive radiation of New World leaf-nosed bats based on their dietary niches. The researchers' new tool opens a way of discovering evidence for selection for biomechanical function in very diverse organisms and of reconstructing skull shapes in long-extinct ancestral species.

The UMass news release about the work can be accessed here.

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