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Specialized Predation Drives Aberrant Morphological Integration and Diversity in the Earliest Ants
Barden, Phillip1,2; Perrichot, Vincent3; Wang, Bo (王博)4,5
2020-10-05
Source PublicationCURRENT BIOLOGY
ISSN0960-9822
Volume30Issue:19Pages:3818-+
Abstract

Extinct haidomyrmecine "hell ants'' are among the earliest ants known [1, 2]. These eusocial Cretaceous taxa diverged from extant lineages prior to the most recent common ancestor of all living ants [3] and possessed bizarre scythe-like mouthparts along with a striking array of horn-like cephalic projections [4-6]. Despite the morphological breadth of the fifteen thousand known extant ant species, phenotypic syndromes found in the Cretaceous are without parallel and the evolutionary drivers of extinct diversity are unknown. Here, we provide a mechanistic explanation for aberrant hell ant morphology through phylogenetic reconstruction and comparative methods, as well as a newly reported specimen. We report a remarkable instance of fossilized predation that provides direct evidence for the function of dorsoventrally expanded mandibles and elaborate horns. Our findings confirm the hypothesis that hell ants captured other arthropods between mandible and horn in a manner that could only be achieved by articulating their mouthparts in an axial plane perpendicular to that of modern ants. We demonstrate that the head capsule and mandibles of haidomyrmecines are uniquely integrated as a consequence of this predatory mode and covary across species while finding no evidence of such modular integration in extant ant groups. We suggest that hell ant cephalic integration-analogous to the vertebrate skull-triggered a pathway for an ancient adaptive radiation and expansion into morphospace unoccupied by any living taxon.

DOI10.1016/j.cub.2020.06.106
Indexed BySCI
Language英语
WOS KeywordTRAP-JAW ANTS ; HYMENOPTERA-FORMICIDAE ; ADAPTIVE RADIATION ; AMBER HYMENOPTERA ; FOSSIL ANTS ; HELL ANTS ; R PACKAGE ; EVOLUTION ; DIVERSIFICATION ; GENUS
Funding ProjectChinese Academy of Sciences[XDB26000000] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[41688103]
WOS Research AreaBiochemistry & Molecular Biology ; Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics ; Cell Biology
WOS SubjectBiochemistry & Molecular Biology ; Biology ; Cell Biology
WOS IDWOS:000579845200049
Funding OrganizationChinese Academy of Sciences ; National Natural Science Foundation of China
PublisherCELL PRESS
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.nigpas.ac.cn/handle/332004/32643
Collection中国科学院南京地质古生物研究所
Corresponding AuthorBarden, Phillip; Perrichot, Vincent; Wang, Bo (王博)
Affiliation1.New Jersey Inst Technol, Dept Biol Sci, Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Newark, NJ 07102 USA
2.Amer Museum Nat Hist, Div Invertebrate Zool, Cent Pk West, New York, NY 10024 USA
3.Univ Rennes, CNRS, Geosci Rennes, UMR 6118, F-35000 Rennes, France
4.Chinese Acad Sci, State Key Lab Palaeobiol & Stratig, Nanjing Inst Geol & Palaeontol, 39 East Beijing Rd, Nanjing 210008, Peoples R China
5.Chinese Acad Sci, Ctr Excellence Life & Paleoenvironm, 39 East Beijing Rd, Nanjing 210008, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Barden, Phillip,Perrichot, Vincent,Wang, Bo . Specialized Predation Drives Aberrant Morphological Integration and Diversity in the Earliest Ants[J]. CURRENT BIOLOGY,2020,30(19):3818-+.
APA Barden, Phillip,Perrichot, Vincent,&Wang, Bo .(2020).Specialized Predation Drives Aberrant Morphological Integration and Diversity in the Earliest Ants.CURRENT BIOLOGY,30(19),3818-+.
MLA Barden, Phillip,et al."Specialized Predation Drives Aberrant Morphological Integration and Diversity in the Earliest Ants".CURRENT BIOLOGY 30.19(2020):3818-+.
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