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  #11  
Old 02-10-2012, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Anderson View Post
. . .Within every organism's genome there are genes that are turned on and are visible in the organism's phenotype, and then there are other genes that are turned off and thus are not expressed phenotypically. . .As a result, organisms that share common genetic codings for particular morphological traits can frequently end up converging on similar morphologies.

Chris
Well said. It is like there is a CAPACITY to evolve a certain appearance (rostrals in this case) provided that something brings it out of the genes.

Do we know archaeologically or genetically if Furcifer and Kinyongia are neighbors on the "tree" compared to other genera?
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  #12  
Old 02-10-2012, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Seeco View Post
Well said. It is like there is a CAPACITY to evolve a certain appearance (rostrals in this case) provided that something brings it out of the genes.
Exactly, their genetic makeup provides a capacity to evolve similar appearances even between different genera.

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Do we know archaeologically or genetically if Furcifer and Kinyongia are neighbors on the "tree" compared to other genera?
At this point there are differing phylogenetic hypotheses as to the relatedness between chameleon genera. Most do not, however, have Furcifer and Kinyongia as sister taxa.

Chris
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2012, 07:58 PM
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The above conversation explain genetically how these similarities happen. However does not explain the geographic anomalies that most of these similar species happen along the strip of Africa where Madagascar (the worlds oldest island) broke off along time ago. The question then is why are there not species elsewhere in Africa that have got similar genetic showing phenotype similarities to Furcifer or other Madagascar genus's.

I can think of one (Calumma globifer and parsonii to Chamealeo gracilis and senegalensis who slightly share similarities) however that is nothing compared to the similarities seen in Central Eastern Africa.
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  #14  
Old 02-10-2012, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Motherlode Chameleon View Post
The above conversation explain genetically how these similarities happen. However does not explain the geographic anomalies that most of these similar species happen along the strip of Africa where Madagascar (the worlds oldest island) broke off along time ago. The question then is why are there not species elsewhere in Africa that have got similar genetic showing phenotype similarities to Furcifer or other Madagascar genus's.

I can think of one (Calumma globifer and parsonii to Chamealeo gracilis and senegalensis who slightly share similarities) however that is nothing compared to the similarities seen in Central Eastern Africa.
Its just a matter of concentrations of diversity. By far the two highest region of chameleon diversity are in Madagascar and east Africa. When you have high levels of diversity, you are going to get a wider range of morphological variation. Along with this variation you are more likely to find examples of convergence. While Kinyongia is the only mainland African genus know to exhibit similar rostral protuberances to some of the Calumma and Furcifer, this too can be a genetic cause. Its possible that of the generic level radiations on mainland Africa, only Kinyongia has experienced the activation of an encoded gene sequence for such rostral protuberances, and therefore, more of its members have it than seen in other genera. It only takes one gene activation event for a broader trend to result.

Also, you do see regional morphological convergence on mainland Africa, however. Look at T. oweni and the other three-horned Trioceros species or T. balebicornutus compared to some of the Cameroon montane species. While these are within the same genus, they are quite distantly related. Trace also mentioned the similarity between come of the T. bitaeniatus complex and some of the Bradypodion grass morphs.

Chris
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  #15  
Old 02-10-2012, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Anderson View Post
Its just a matter of concentrations of diversity. By far the two highest region of chameleon diversity are in Madagascar and east Africa. When you have high levels of diversity, you are going to get a wider range of morphological variation. Along with this variation you are more likely to find examples of convergence. While Kinyongia is the only mainland African genus know to exhibit similar rostral protuberances to some of the Calumma and Furcifer, this too can be a genetic cause. Its possible that of the generic level radiations on mainland Africa, only Kinyongia has experienced the activation of an encoded gene sequence for such rostral protuberances, and therefore, more of its members have it than seen in other genera. It only takes one gene activation event for a broader trend to result.

Also, you do see regional morphological convergence on mainland Africa, however. Look at T. oweni and the other three-horned Trioceros species or T. balebicornutus compared to some of the Cameroon montane species. While these are within the same genus, they are quite distantly related. Trace also mentioned the similarity between come of the T. bitaeniatus complex and some of the Bradypodion grass morphs.

Chris
I hear you Chris I was just referring to genetic similarities from Madagascar to mainland Africa. As those species have been separated and in genetic isolation from each other for an extremely long time and not allowed to disperse as seen with species on mainland Africa. My intrigue is why after all the centuries, millenniums etc.. has this footprint (of similar Madagascar Furcifer species to African Kinyongia species) in Eastern Africa persisted and not seen else where in Africa with high chameleon populations (western central Africa). These similar African populations have had plenty of time to move geographically through out Africa however they have not. Just something I have as part of my private studies and comments about this are great.

Last edited by Motherlode Chameleon; 02-11-2012 at 03:48 PM.
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  #16  
Old 02-11-2012, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Anderson View Post
Most do not, however, have Furcifer and Kinyongia as sister taxa.

Chris
Dang. I really wish there was a connection there.

There is one other similarity between the two that seems like it must be more than just convergent evolution -- It is not just the rostrals in the males, but the degree of sexual dimorphism in both. What I am trying to say is that the difference between males and females of each species in both genera seem to follow a similar "plan" (aside from the color of the females in furcifer).
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