Person: Hernández Fernández, Manuel
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Faculty / Institute
Geodinámica, Estratigrafía y Paleontología
Now showing 1 - 10 of 56
PublicationLos yacimientos de vertebrados continentales del Aragoniense superior (Mioceno medio) de Toril, Cuenca de Calatayud-Daroca(Sociedad Geológica de España., 2004) Azanza, B.; Alonso-Zarza, Ana María; Álvarez-Sierra, M. Ángeles; Calvo Sorando, José Pedro; Fraile, S.; García-Paredes, I.; Gómez, E.; Hernández Fernández, Manuel; Meulen, Albert J. van der; Miguel, D. de; Montoya, Plini; Morales Romero, Jorge; Murelaga, Xabier; Peláez Campomanes, Pablo; Pérez, B.; Quiralte, Victoria; Salesa Calvo, Manuel J; Sánchez, Israel M.; Sanchez Marco, Antonio; Soria, D.The paleontological sites of Toril 3A and B (Upper Aragonian, Biozone C3, MN 7/8) posses an exceptional and abundant fauna of vertebrates. From 1997 until 2001 these two localities have been object of systematic paleontological excavations. Up to now 36 species of large and small mammals have been found in these localities; the association of vertebrates also includes amphibians, reptiles and birds, among the remains of fossils birds it is frequent to found egg shell fragments. There are not significant differences in the qualitative and quantitative faunistic composition of the two sites; in both the undetermined bone fragments and the remains of chelonians, most of them dermal bones, are the dominant fossils. An important characteristic is the abundance of small size hornless ruminants, which are quite scarce in the stratified sites of the Spanish Aragonian. Neither there are differences in the composition of the micromammals, the association is overwhelmingly dominated (more than 95%) for different cricetid species; in Toril 3A beavers reappears for the first time during the Aragonian, and they will be frequent in younger faunas of the same basin. The fossils were deposited in different sedimentary environments, related with alluvial and shallow lacustrine environments. PublicationA macroecological glance at the structure of late Miocene rodent assemblages from Southwest Europe(Nature Research, 2014-10-09) Gómez Cano, Ana Rosa; Cantalapiedra, Juan L.; Álvarez Sierra, María Ángeles; Hernández Fernández, ManuelDeep-time perspectives in macroecology are essential with regard to understanding the impact of climate forcing on faunal communities. Using late Miocene rodent faunas (12 to 5 Ma) from two different biogeographical provinces from southwestern Europe, we asked whether the waxing and waning of faunas with dissimilar ecological affinities tracked climate in different ways. The latest middle Miocene featured a fauna dominated by dormice with forest and mixed-habitat affinities. This group declined towards the Upper Miocene. Rodent taxa with the highest values of richness at the beginning of the Upper Miocene are generalists in the southern province and specialists of forested habitats in the northern province. Finally, we identified a third, increasingly significant group of rodents linked to open landscapes towards the end of the Miocene. These three broad ecological groups showed differential responses to a complex set of interconnected circumstances, including the biogeographic structure of the study area and climatic changes throughout time. PublicationBiogeographic provincialism in rodent faunas from the Iberoccitanian Region (southwestern Europe) generates severe diachrony within the Mammalian Neogene (MN) biochronologic scale during the Late Miocene(Elsevier, 2011) Gómez Cano, Ana Rosa; Hernández Fernández, Manuel; Álvarez Sierra, María ÁngelesIn order to develop paleoecological studies involving many fossil sites, there is a need to establish a consistent time framework, which enables us to arrange the fossil associations according to a sequence of biotic events and subsequently to test a relationship with paleoenvironmental changes. The nature of the continental fossil record has given rise to much controversy with regard to the establishment of general biostratigraphical scales. Additionally, biochronological scales are sometimes all that can be proposed. The primary goal of the present paper is to present a time arrangement for the Iberoccitanian micromammalian fossil sites from the latest Middle Miocene to the Mio–Pliocene boundary, spanning around 7 million years (approximately 12.61– 4.95 Ma). Herein we study over one hundred faunal lists of rodents from the Iberoccitanian Region, compiled from the literature. Previous research has described two biogeographical provinces in our study area: a northern one (Vallès–Penedès and southeast France) and a southern one (all the Iberian basins, except the Vallès–Penedès). We therefore conducted Alroy's Maximum Likelihood Appearance Event Ordination (ML AEO) methodology, applying it to the database compiled for each province. Finally, using available numerical dates for a quarter of the sites, we obtained a calibrated ordination for all localities. In each analysis, the results obtained are roughly coherent with the Mammalian Neogene units (MN) and allow estimation of the numerical ages for the entire set of fossil sites included in the study. Nevertheless, our results show severe diachrony between the two biogeographic provinces of the Iberoccitanian Region in relation to the MN boundaries, which might be linked to the existence of a refuge area associated with more humid environments in the northern province. PublicationArtistic reconstruction of the appearance of Prosantorhinus Heissig, 1974, the teleoceratine rhinoceros from the Middle Miocene of Somosaguas(Sociedad Española de Paleontología, 2013) Ansón, Marco; Hernández Fernández, ManuelWe show the methodology used to perform the artistic palaeoreconstruction of the teleoceratine rhinoceros Prosantorhinus, which is found in the middle Miocene fossil site of Somosaguas-Norte (Pozuelo de Alarcón, middle Aragonian). Successive phases within this work involved (1) the interpretation of the fossils in comparative anatomy terms; (2) the use of modern analogues, considering the systematic relationships among the extinct species and their extant relatives, which allows us to infer the condition of unpreserved attributes such as soft tissues; and (3) addition of palaeoecological information in order to establish the palaeoenvironmental framework of the species. Our fi nished work shows a plausible reconstruction of the inferred life appearance of Prosantorhinus. PublicationEl Gran Intercambio Biótico Americano: una revisión paleoambiental de evidencias aportadas por mamíferos y aves neotropicales(Asociación Española de Ecología Terrestre, 2018-01) Pelegrin Ramírez, Jonathan S.; Gamboa, Sara; Menéndez, Iris; Hernández Fernández, ManuelTradicionalmente, se ha considerado que la formación del istmo de Panamá (durante el Plioceno hace 3 Ma) facilitó el movimiento de especies entre Sudamérica y Norteamérica. Este proceso ecológico y evolutivo denominado Gran Intercambio Biótico Americano (GABI) es determinante en la configuración de la biota americana actual. Aunque el GABI comenzó a estudiarse principalmente a partir del registro fósil de diversos grupos (especialmente mamíferos), el conocimiento actual de las especies derivado de estudios biogeográficos, filogenéticos, y de un sustancial incremento del registro fósil, así como el aumento significativo del conocimiento geológico de la región, han permitido plantear escenarios donde el GABI adquiere una mayor complejidad y suguieren un panorama de menor aislamiento para Sudamérica durante el Cenozoico. Las evidencias y estudios más recientes en aves y mamíferos apuntan a múltiples procesos de colonización desde finales del Oligoceno con la entrada de algunos grupos de aves y durante el Mioceno con la colonización de algunos taxones de ambos grupos, eventos que serían previos a lo que habitualmente se ha considerado para el proceso de intercambio. El GABI plenamente establecido, se constituye de 4 fases a lo largo del Plio-Pleistoceno, en cada una de éstas, se presentarón diferentes oleadas de colonización de linajes entre ambos continentes. Asimismo, durante el Pleistoceno-Holoceno se evidenciaron diversos procesos de extinción de especies, la explicación de cuáles fueron los factores determinantes en estos procesos han sido causa de debate, por lo que se discute el estado de la cuestión, mostrando a través de la evidencia cómo se presenta un importante cambio de paradigma con explicaciones basadas en la relevancia de los factores paleogeográficos y los cambios ambientales en los procesos de adaptación biómica, abandonando la clasida idea de la competencia ecológica entre especies norteñas y sureñas. En conclusión, el proceso resulta ser un entramado complejo de interacciónes bióticas condicionadas principalmente por factores abióticos cambiantes acaecidos durante el proceso de configuración paleoambiental de las américas. PublicationA phylogenetic study to assess the link between biome specialization and diversification in swallowtail butterflies(Wiley, 2022-07-15) Gamboa, Sara; Condamine, Fabien L.; Cantalapiedra, Juan L.; Varela, Sara; Pelegrín, Jonathan S.; Menéndez, Iris; Blanco, Fernando; Hernández Fernández, ManuelThe resource-use hypothesis, proposed by E.S. Vrba, states that habitat fragmentation caused by climatic oscillations would affect particularly biome specialists (species inhabiting only one biome), which might show higher speciation and extinction rates than biome generalists. If true, lineages would accumulate biome-specialist species. This effect would be particularly exacerbated for biomes located at the periphery of the global climatic conditions, namely, biomes that have high/low precipitation and high/low temperature such as rainforest (warm-humid), desert (warm-dry), steppe (cold-dry) and tundra (cold-humid). Here, we test these hypotheses in swallowtail butterflies, a clade with more than 570 species, covering all the continents but Antarctica, and all climatic conditions. Swallowtail butterflies are among the most studied insects, and they are a model group for evolutionary biology and ecology studies. Continental macroecological rules are normally tested using vertebrates, this means that there are fewer examples exploring terrestrial invertebrate patterns at global scale. Here, we compiled a large Geographic Information System database on swallowtail butterflies' distribution maps and used the most complete time-calibrated phylogeny to quantify diversification rates (DRs). In this paper, we aim to answer the following questions: (1) Are there more biome-specialist swallowtail butterflies than biome generalists? (2) Is DR related to biome specialization? (3) If so, do swallowtail butterflies inhabiting extreme biomes show higher DRs? (4) What is the effect of species distribution area? Our results showed that swallowtail family presents a great number of biome specialists which showed substantially higher DRs compared to generalists. We also found that biome specialists are unevenly distributed across biomes. Overall, our results are consistent with the resource-use hypothesis, species climatic niche and biome fragmentation as key factors promoting isolation. PublicationTrophic Niche Breadth of Falconidae Species Predicts Biomic Specialisation but Not Range Size(MDPI, 2022) Fargallo, Juan A.; Navarro López, Juan; Cantalapiedra, Juan L.; Pelegrin Ramírez, Jonathan S.; Hernández Fernández, ManuelTrophic niche breadth plays a key role in biogeographic distribution patterns. Theory posits that generalist strategies are favoured in a more heterogeneous set of environments across a spatio-temporal gradient of resources predictability, conferring individuals and species a greater capacity for colonising new habitats and thus expanding their distribution area. Using the family Falconidae (Aves, Falconiformes) as a model study, we tested the prediction that those species with a wider diet spectrum will have larger geographic range sizes and inhabit more biomes. We assessed the relationships between trophic breadth (diet richness and diversity) at different taxonomic resolutions of the prey (class and order), range size and biomic specialisation index (BSI; number of biomes inhabited) for the different species. Despite different diet breadth indexes and taxonomic resolutions defined differently the trophic niche of the clade and species, our findings revealed that trophic breadth was not a good predictor for range size but was for total environmental heterogeneity, with more diet-generalist species occupying a higher number of biomes. Diet breadth at the order taxonomic level showed a higher capacity of predicting BSI than at class level, and can be an important ecological trait explaining biogeographic patterns of the species. PublicationDietary adaptations and tooth morphology in squirrels: Insights from extant and extinct species(Elsevier, 2023-11-01) Menéndez González, Iris; Zelditch, Miriam L.; Tejero Cicuéndez, Hector; Swiderski, Donald L.; Carro Rodríguez, Patricia María; Hernández Fernández, Manuel; Álvarez Sierra, María De Los Ángeles; Gómez Cano, Ana RosaAn important part of the ecological evolution of many lineages consists of adaptations to new diets as climate and available resources changed. In this study, we inferred when squirrels adapted morphologically to new diets by analyzing data from both extant and extinct species. We relied on the relationship between tooth morphology in extant squirrels and their dietary preferences to infer the diets of extinct species. To achieve this, we employed two approaches, namely geometric morphometrics and Elliptic Fourier analyses, to measure the outline of the fourth lower premolar (p4) in occlusal view. We then used both datasets to infer the diets of extinct species. Additionally, we used phylogenetic comparative methods on extant data to explore the evolution of diet and tooth size, identifying potential drivers of squirrel morphological evolution in the context of past climatic changes. Our findings indicate that the morphology of squirrel teeth has been maintained through the evolutionary history of most lineages, but that it also has changed in some lineages as a result of adaptations to particularly demanding diets, sometimes mediated by climatic factors, which have played a crucial role in shaping tooth morphology. Furthermore, we demonstrated that both geometric morphometrics and Elliptic Fourier analyses can yield a similar percentage of correct classifications and congruent dietary inferences. This study provides valuable insights into the macroevolutionary changes in squirrels and provides further evidence of the usefulness of tooth morphology for inferring the diets of extinct mammalian species. PublicationDiet versatility and functional trade-offs shape tooth morphology in squirrels(Oxford University Press, 2023-01-01) Menéndez, Iris; Swiderski, Donald L.; Gómez Cano, Ana Rosa; Hernández Fernández, Manuel; Álvarez Sierra, María Ángeles; Zelditch, Miriam L.Identifying the drivers of adaptation is key to understanding the origin and evolution of diversity. Here we study the morphological evolution of tooth morphology, a classic example of a conserved structure, to gain insights into the conditions that can overcome resistance to evolutionary change. We use geometric morphometrics of the occlusal surface outline of the fourth lower premolar (p4) of squirrels, a paradigm of a stable tooth morphology, to explore morphological adaptations to diet. Although a versatile generalist dental morphology favors the retention of the ancestral shape, the acquisition of diets that require strong mechanical processing drives morphological change. In particular, species that eat both grass and dry fruits evolved disparate tooth shape morphologies, related to trade-offs between feeding performance that lead to a more or less pronounced change depending on the proportion of those items in their diet. Also, some folivores develop relatively large p4s, and most bark gleaners have relatively small p4s. Ultimately, despite the role of diet shaping these patterns, we showed that diet is not the only factor driving the evolution of tooth morphology. PublicationInfluence of continental history on the ecological specialization and macroevolutionary processes in the mammalian assemblage of South America: Differences between small and large mammals(BioMed Central, 2008-03-26) Moreno Bofarull, Ana; Arias Royo, Antón; Hernández Fernández, Manuel; Ortiz Jaureguizar, Edgardo; Morales Romero, JorgeBackground: This paper tests Vrba's resource-use hypothesis, which predicts that generalist species have lower specialization and extinction rates than specialists, using the 879 species of South American mammals. We tested several predictions about this hypothesis using the biomic specialization index (BSI) for each species, which is based on its geographical range within different climate-zones. The four predictions tested are: (1) there is a high frequency of species restricted to a single biome, which henceforth are referred to as stenobiomic species, (2) certain clades are more stenobiomic than others, (3) there is a higher proportion of biomic specialists in biomes that underwent through major expansion-contraction alternation due to the glacial-interglacial cycles, (4) certain combinations of inhabited biomes occur more frequently among species than do others. Results: Our results are consistent with these predictions. (1) We found that 42 % of the species inhabit only one biome. (2) There are more generalists among species of Carnivora than in clades of herbivores. However, Artiodactyla, shows a distribution along the specialization gradient different from the one expected. (3) Biomic specialists are predominant in tropical rainforest and desert biomes. Nevertheless, we found some differences between small and large mammals in relation to these results. Stenobiomic species of micromammalian clades are more abundant in most biomes than expected by chance, while in the case of macromammalian clades stenobiomic species are more frequent than expected in tropical rainforest, tropical deciduous woodland and desert biomes only. (4) The most frequent combinations of inhabited biomes among the South American mammals are those with few biomes, i.e., the ones that suffered a higher rate of vicariance due to climatic cycles. Conclusion: Our results agree with the resource-use hypothesis and, therefore, with a major role of the past climatic changes as drivers of mammalian evolution. Nevertheless, deviations from the expectations indicate the importance of differences in reproductive traits and paleobiogeographic history for the macroevolutionary processes involved. In the case of South American mammals, the Pliocene Great American Biotic Interchange strongly influences the ecological characteristics of this assemblage. Furthermore, the Andes have acted as a fertile ground for speciation in environments prone to vicariance. Finally, the micromammals appear as more prone to biomic specialization than larger species. These factors are responsible for some of the differences found between South America and Africa in the studied pattern. For example, the extensive South American mountain ranges favour a higher number of combinations of inhabited biomes in comparison with Africa.