Dataset for: Phenotypic disparity of the elbow joint in domestic dogs and wild carnivores

2018-07-03T14:45:15Z (GMT) by Borja Figueirido
In this article, I use geometric morphometrics in 2D from a sample of 366 elbow joints to quantify phenotypic disparity in domestic dog breeds, in wild canids, and across the order Carnivora. The elbow joint is a well-established morphological indicator of forearm motion and, by extension, of functional adaptations towards locomotor or predatory behavior in living carnivores. The study of the elbow joint in domestic dogs allows the exploration of potential convergences between (i) pursuit predators and fast-running dogs, and (ii) ambush predators and fighting breeds. The results indicate that elbow shape disparity among domestic dogs exceeds that in wolves; it is comparable to the disparity of wild Caninae, but is significantly lower than the one observed throughout Canidae and Carnivora. Moreover, fast-running and fighting breeds are not convergent in elbow joint shape with extreme pursuit and ambush wild carnivores, respectively. The role of artificial selection and developmental constraints in shaping limb phenotypic disparity through the extremely fast evolution of the domestic dog is discussed in the light of this new evidence.