Welcome to the evolutionary lottery of skull and beak morphology

Beak and skull shapes in birds of prey (“raptors”) are strongly coupled and largely controlled by size. Bright, J.A., Marugan-Lobon, J., Cobb, S.N. et al. (1 more author) (2016) The shapes of bird beaks are highly controlled by nondietary factors. PNAS, 113 (19). pp. 5352-5357.

gif provided by Dr Jen Bright

Exercise aims

  • Each participant will fork a GitHub repository, and contribute a file required to simulate the evolutionary trajectory of an imaginary species’ body size.

  • We’ll use GitHub to merge all contributions and plot them together at the end!

  • We’ll also discover the skull and beak shapes associated with each simulated species size.