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Animal AthletesAn Ecological and Evolutionary Approach$
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Duncan J. Irschick and Timothy E. Higham

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296545

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296545.001.0001

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The evolution of performance II

The evolution of performance II

Convergence, key innovations, and adaptation

(p.117) 6 The evolution of performance II
Animal Athletes

Duncan J. Irschick

Timothy E. Higham

Oxford University Press

Animals display a remarkable array of phenotypes and functional abilities. These include notable specializations in running, jumping, climbing, feeding, and other traits. How these animals have evolved such specializations is often due to the occupation of distinctive habitats. For example, the evolution of toepads in geckos and other arboreal lizards has allowed these lizards to access a wide range of arboreal habitats and thus may have enabled them to diversify. This chapter discusses the evolution of animal performance traits in the context of ideas such as convergence, key innovations, and adaptation, especially in relation to the occupation of novel habitats.

Keywords:   adaptation, evolution, convergence, key innovation, feeding

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