Miss Hiu Wai Lee Department of Earth Sciences, HKU
Archosaurs have morphologically diverse skulls, ranging from the platyrostral crocodilians to the large orbitals in birds. The evolutionary growth of these skulls is constrained by organizational modularity but that had not been extensively studied in pseudosuchians (the crocodilian-line of archosaurs). In my project, I study how cranial topology could act as a developmental constraint in pseudosuchians by a method called Anatomical Network Analysis. I show that topological complexity could (1) discriminate extinct and extant taxa and (2) discriminate crocodylians, non-crocodylian crocodyliformes, non-crocodyliform crocodylomorphs, and basal pseudosuchians.
Moreover, organizational modularity is associated with the fusion of cranial sutures. Using the method from Goswami et al. (2013), I quantified the sutural closure of the interfrontal and interparietal sutures and showed an evolutionary sequence for sutural closure.
In this presentation, I will elaborate more on what is organizational modularity and its role in pseudosuchian evolution.
Additional information: Miss Hiu Wai Lee, firstname.lastname@example.org