ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0002-4657-438X

Graduation Semester and Year

2021

Language

English

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Quantitative Biology

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Eric N Smith

Abstract

Elapidae is an extremely diverse family of venomous snake that have a nearly global distribution. To conquer such wide swaths of territory the initially fossorial snakes evolved many successful strategies pertaining to reproduction, locomotion, and predation techniques. Here I explore the multiple transitions of terrestrial to aquatic life through a high-density 3D geometric morphometric methodology conducted upon five large datasets of computed tomography (CT) data. This occurs primarily through the comparison of the genus of New World coralsnakes, Micrurus, with sea snakes of Hydrophis and Laticauda and is informed by a scale created to document and classify the disparate life history of elapids. My dissertation elucidates the morphological characters that are associated with an aquatic lifestyle and represent possibly undescribed biodiversity found within Elapidae. The CT data created for this dissertation is expected to significantly benefit future efforts into morphological analyses of the Elapidae.

Keywords

Morphology, Computed tomography, Elapids, Coralsnakes, Micrurus, Geometric morphometrics

Disciplines

Biology | Life Sciences

Comments

Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Biology Commons

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