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September 28, 2022

12:00pm, PST 158 HH and Zoom

Matteo Fabbri
Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago

" From Dinosaurs to Birds: Evolutionary and Developmental Perspectives "

The fossil record is vital to understand the evolutionary history, timing, and patterns that favored the origin, diversification, and divergence of modern clades. However, the geological timespans over which the series of events giving birth and rise to the major reptilian clades are recorded is simply too broad to approach questions at the mechanistic level, which is necessary to understand how major anatomical transformations characterizing modern clades took place through time. In order to clarify how certain traits evolved, the plasticity of embryos and the developmental pathways characterizing them can be used to infer how evolutionary innovations appeared. Because morphology is the main link between the fossil record and modern diversity, my focus relies on organogenesis and the appearance of specific anatomical features through morphogenesis. I will be presenting novel insights on the morphological and ecological transitions that characterize the origin of modern birds from their dinosaurian ancestors, using developmental techniques in combination with the fossil record as an evolutionary framework.

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA acknowledges our presence on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples.

Host: David Jacobs