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Talpa fossilis or Talpa europaea? Using geometric morphometrics and allometric trajectories of humeral moles remains from Hungary to answer a taxonomic debate

Gabriele Sansalone, Tassos Kotsakis, and Paolo Piras

Plain Language Abstract

The extinct Plio-Pleistocene mole Talpa fossilis has very few morphological differences from the extant common mole Talpa europaea. In the last years many authors considered T. fossilis as a junior synonym of T. europaea. Mole humeri are very robust bones and are often abundant in fossil assemblages, making this bone an ideal candidate for extensive comparative analyses. Here we investigated the humerus shape variation and allometry, from many Plio-Pleistocene Hungarian localities, by means of Geometric Morphometrics analysis. We found that the two species have different humeral morphologies, probably related to different digging capabilities, and different allometric trajectories. This evidence suggests that T. fossilis and T. europaea should be considered as distinct species.

Resumen en Español

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Traducción: Enrique Peñalver or Diana Elizabeth Fernández

Résumé en Français

Talpa fossilis ou Talpa europaea? Utilisation de la morphométrie géométrique et des trajectoires allométriques de restes d'humérus de taupes de Hongrie pour répondre à un débat taxonomique

La validité taxonomique de Talpa fossilis a été sujette à un débat de longue date. Ce taxon a été considéré comme une chrono-espèce, une espèce stratigraphique, et finalement comme un synonyme junior de Talpa europaea. Dans cette étude, le vaste échantillon d'humérus de T. fossilis et T. europaea du Plio-Pléistocène de Hongrie est réexaminé à l'aide d'une analyse de morphométrie géométrique. Les différences des pentes d'allométrie statique sous l'hypothèse de contrainte allométrique sont également testées. Les résultats indiquent que T. fossilis et T. europaea présentent des différences significatives à la fois de taille et de forme. Les pentes allométriques de T. fossilis et T. europaea se sont avérées différentes, indiquant que les deux taxons suivent des schémas différents de modifications de la forme en fonction de la taille. Ces résultats étayent l'hypothèse selon laquelle T. fossilis et T. europaea sont deux espèces distinctes.
Mots-clés : Talpidae ; morphométrie géométrique ; humérus ; allométrie ; systématique ; Plio-Pléistocène

Translator: Antoine Souron

Deutsche Zusammenfassung

In progress

Translator: Eva Gebauer

Arabic

in progress

Translator: Ashraf M.T. Elewa

 

 

TABLE 1. List of the fossil site localities, corresponding ages, and sample size of Talpa fossilis and T. europaea used in the analyses.

Locality Age T. fossilis T. europaea
Osztramos 7 MN16 (2.8 ma) 1 /
Villany 3 MN17 (2.3 ma) 2 /
Betfia Early Pleistocene 5 /
Puspokfurdo Early Pleistocene 4 /
Beremend 15-16 Early Pleistocene 3 /
Somssich Hegy 2 Middle Pleistocene 3 /
Villany 8 Middle Pleistocene 11 /
Koversvarad Middle Pleistocene 9 /
Tarkò Middle Pleistocene 3 /
Brassò Middle Pleistocene 4 /
25-Fortuna Utca, Budapest Middle Pleistocene 3 /
Petersbuch 1 Middle Pleistocene 3 /
Istalloskò Late Pleistocene / 50
Bivak Barlang Late Pleistocene / 6
Kofulke Late Pleistocene / 4
Szelim Barlang Late Pleistocene / 4
Koszeg-Puskaporos Late Pleistocene / 3

TABLE 2. Results of the VARPART analysis.

Humeral shape/entire sample

df R2 Adjusted R2 p
Full model 7 0.17 0.12 0.001
individual fractions        
pure time 1 0.048 0.041 0.001
pure geography 3 0.05 0.026 0.001
pure climate 1 0.009 -0.005 0.858
Humeral shape/Talpa europaea        
Full model 5 0.11 0.04 0.002
individual fractions        
pure time 1 0.01 -0.002 0.678
pure geography 3 0.07 0.02 0.005
pure climate 1 0.009 -0.005 0.879
Humeral shape/Talpa fossilis        
Full model 5 0.13 0.032 0.056
individual fractions        
pure time 1 0.04 0.029 0.128
pure geography 3 0.08 0.02 0.087
pure climate 1 0.035 0.014 0.059
 

sansaloneGabriele Sansalone
Università di Roma Tre
Dipartimento di Scienze
L.S. Murialdo, 1 – 00146 Roma
Italy
and Center of evolutionary ecology
Pesche
Italy
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Sansalone had his master degree in evolutionary biology. In 2012 he started his Ph.D. at the Roma Tre University of Rome, Italy in vertebrate palaeontology, focusing on Talpidae systematics and evolution. He's investigating the evolution of fossoriality in moles via Geometric Morphometrics and 3D biomechanical simulation.

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kotsakisTassos Kotsakis
Università di Roma Tre
Dipartimento di Scienze
L.S. Murialdo
1 – 00146 Roma
Italy
and Center of evolutionary ecology
Pesche
Italy
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Born in 1945. Graduate in 1971. Researcher of CNR from 1976, Full Professor from 1990, visiting professor at Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI)(2008), during several years was Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, Head of Department, President of the Teaching Council of Geological Sciences, Coordinator of the Council of PhD students, Coordinator of the Vertebrate Palaeontology Group of CNR, several times member of the Academic Senate. Founder member of the Roman Theriological Association, of the Societas Herpetologica Italica and of the Center for Evolutionary Ecology. Member of editorial board of several scientific journals. He has been and is leading researcher and valuer of both national and international projects. He has been member of several panels for the evaluation of Departments of Geology and Mining Engineering in many countries of EU. Tutor of fourteen PhDs in Vertebrate Palaeontology. He works on Vertebrate Palaeontology, particularly on insular fossil faunas, both endemic and non-endemic, on the Cenozoic continental palaeobiogeography of the Mediterranean area, and on the systematics of Neogene and Quaternary small mammals of the Mediterranean area. The results of his work are reported in 175 papers published or in press, in both national and international reviews and volumes. His participation on Congresses and Workshops is testified by more than 100 abstracts.

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pirasPaolo Piras
Università di Roma Tre
Dipartimento di Scienze
L.S. Murialdo
1 – 00146 Roma
Italy
and Center of evolutionary ecology
Pesche
Italy
and Dipartimento di Scienze Cardiovascolari
Respiratorie, Nefrologiche, Anestesiologiche e Geriatriche
Sapienza-Universita` di Roma
Roma
Italy
and Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale e Geotecnica Sapienza
Università di Roma
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">

Piras is an evolutionary paleobiologist. After the PhD in paleontology at Roma Tre University, Italy; he was postdoctoral research fellow in biology (2008) at Pierre et Marie Curie University (Paris, France) and at Roma Tre University (2010-2012) in paleontology. Currently is postdoctoral fellow at Sapienza, University of Roma, Italy, for studying shape changes of the human left ventricle via Geometric Morphometrics using data coming from 3D echocardiography. He applies methods of modern shape analysis to biological and biomechanical problems spanning from systematics of extinct and extant vertebrates to human cardiac mechanics.

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FIGURE 1. Geographical map showing the fossil bearing localities. Circles size is proportional to the number of individuals. Colour scale is proportional to relative age (ka).

figure 1

FIGURE 2. 1, Landmarks (large grey circles) and semilandmarks (small white circles) digitized on the humerus in caudal norm: 1) lateral end of greater tuberosity; 2) articular facet for clavicula; 3) proximal edge of the articular facet for clavicula; 4) bicipital notch; 5) proximal end of lesser tuberosity; 6) medial edge of the minor tuberosity; 7) lateral edge of the lesser tuberosity; 8) bicipital ridge; 9) middle point of the bicipital tunnel; 10) lateral end of the scalopine ridge; 11) proximal end of the teres tubercle; 12-14) surface of the teres tubercle; 15) distal end of the teres tubercle; 16-18) minor sulcus; 19) posterior margin of the lateral epicondyle; 21-22) lateral epicondyle; 22-24) trochlear area; 25-27) medial epicondyle; 28) posterior margin of the medial epicondyle; 29-32) greater sulcus; 33-36) humeral head. Scalebar equals 1 mm. 2, Insertion areas of the main muscles involved in the digging movement. 1 . Pectoral ridge where muscle Pectoralis pars sternalis inserts. 2 . Teres tubercle where muscles Teres major and Latissimus dorsi inserts.

figure 2

FIGURE 3. 1, Scatterplot of the first two axes of the PCA. Deformation grids refer to axes extremes (positive and negative values). 2, Scatterplot of the first and third axes of PCA. Deformation grids refer to axes extremes (positive and negative values).

figure 3

FIGURE 4. Boxplot of the centroid sizes. Bottom and top of the boxes are the first and third quartiles; horizontal solid black lines represent the median; whiskers represent the minimum and maximum values.

figure 4

FIGURE 5. 1, CCA scatterplot of the shape and size variables. 2, Plot of the Euclidean distances between the predicted shape values of Talpa fossilis and T. europaea against 10 discrete CS intervals.

figure 5

 

 

APPENDIX

Specimen accession numbers and housing institutions.

Species Accession number Housing Institution
Talpa fossilis 3701_01 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 3701_02 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 3701_03 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 3701_04 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4721 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4741_01 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4741_02 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4741_03 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4750_01 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4750_02 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis B_01 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis B_02 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 3702 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_10_01 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_10_02 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_10_03 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_10_04 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_10_05 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_10_06 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_10_07 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_10_08 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_10_09 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_10_10 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_10_11 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_11_01 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_11_02 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_11_03 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_11_04 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Villany_08_12a Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis V_65482 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Somssichhegy_4_1 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Somssichhegy_4_2 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Ostramos_7_01 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis Ostramos_7_02 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4743_01 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4743_02 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4743_03 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4743_04 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4743_05 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4743_06 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4743_07 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4743_08 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4743_09 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 4743_10 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis HP18 BSPG Munich Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 5.24 BSPG Munich Natural History Museum
Talpa fossilis 5.24a BSPG Munich Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V57760_01 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V57760_02 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V57760_03 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V57760_04 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V57760_05 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_59143 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_59145_01 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_59145_02 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_59145_03 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_59145_04 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_59145_05 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_59145_06 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_59145_07 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_59145_08 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_59145_09 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5915_01 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5915_02 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5915_03 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5915_04 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5915_05 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5915_06 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5915_07 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5915_08 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5915_09 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5915_10 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5915_11 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_01 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_02 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_03 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_04 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_05 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_06 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_07 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_08 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_09 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_10 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_11 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_12 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_13 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_14 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_15 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_16 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_17 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_18 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_19 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_20 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_21 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_22 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_23 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_24 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_25 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_26 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_27 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_28 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_29 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_30 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_31 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_32 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_5917_33 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_621116 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_621172_01 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_621172_02 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_621172_03 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_621172_04 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_621172_05 Budapest Natural History Museum
Talpa europaea V_631274 Budapest Natural History Museum