AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherJOHN WILEY & SONS LTD
CitationRomán‐Palacios, C., Scholl, J. P., & Wiens, J. J. (2019). Evolution of diet across the animal tree of life. Evolution letters, 3(4), 339-347.
RightsCopyright © 2019 The Author(s). Evolution Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) and European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB). This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractWhat an animal eats is a fundamental aspect of its biology, but the evolution of diet has not been studied across animal phylogeny. Here, we performed a large-scale phylogenetic analysis to address three unresolved questions about the evolution of animal diets. (i) Are diets conserved across animal phylogeny? (ii) Does diet influence rates of species proliferation (diversification) among animal phyla? (iii) What was the ancestral diet of animals and major animal clades? We analyzed diet data for 1087 taxa, proportionally sampled among animal phyla based on the relative species richness of phyla. Our survey suggests that across animals, carnivory is most common (similar to 63%), herbivory less common (similar to 32%), and omnivory relatively rare (similar to 3%). Despite considerable controversy over whether ecological traits are conserved or labile, we found strong conservatism in diet over extraordinarily deep timescales. We found that diet is unrelated to rates of species diversification across animal phyla, contrasting with previous studies showing that herbivory increased diversification within some important groups (e.g., crustaceans, insects, and mammals). Finally, we estimated that the ancestor of all animals was most likely carnivorous, as were many major phyla (e.g., arthropods, molluscs, and chordates). Remarkably, our results suggest that many carnivorous species living today may have maintained this diet through a continuous series of carnivorous ancestors for >800 million years.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsU.S. National Science Foundation [DEB 1655690]
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Evolution Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) and European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB). This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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