A method for quantifying, visualising, and analysing gastropod shell form

Thor, Seng Liew and Menno Schilthuizen, (2016) A method for quantifying, visualising, and analysing gastropod shell form. PLoS One, 11 (6). pp. 1-24. ISSN 1932-6203


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Quantitative analysis of organismal form is an important component for almost every branch of biology. Although generally considered an easily-measurable structure, the quantification of gastropod shell form is still a challenge because many shells lack homologous structures and have a spiral form that is difficult to capture with linear measurements. In view of this, we adopt the idea of theoretical modelling of shell form, in which the shell form is the product of aperture ontogeny profiles in terms of aperture growth trajectory that is quantified as curvature and torsion, and of aperture form that is represented by size and shape. We develop a workflow for the analysis of shell forms based on the aperture ontogeny profile, starting from the procedure of data preparation (retopologising the shell model), via data acquisition (calculation of aperture growth trajectory, aperture form and ontogeny axis), and data presentation (qualitative comparison between shell forms) and ending with data analysis (quantitative comparison between shell forms). We evaluate our methods on representative shells of the genera Opisthostoma and Plectostoma, which exhibit great variability in shell form. The outcome suggests that our method is a robust, reproducible, and versatile approach for the analysis of shell form. Finally, we propose several potential applications of our methods in functional morphology, theoretical modelling, taxonomy, and evolutionary biology.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mollusca, MeshLab, Blender 3D, radar chart, accretionary growth, snails, elliptical fourier analysis outline, 3D morphometrics
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: SCHOOL > Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email storage.bpmlib@ums.edu.my
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2016 04:59
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2017 05:25
URI: http://eprints.ums.edu.my/id/eprint/13632

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