On the origins of endothermy in amniotes

Mathieu G. Faure-Brac, Holly N. Woodward, Paul Aubier, Jorge Cubo

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1 Scopus citations


A recent study showed evidence that endothermy was ancestral for amniotes using a variety of proxies and a large sample of taxa. However, it did not include numerous crucial taxa. We reevaluated this hypothesis using a large sample of early amniotes and tetrapodomorphs. We inferred the probability of endothermy for each taxon using a model constructed through phylogenetic logistic regressions and using the size of their bone vascular cavities. An ancestral state reconstruction, based on these inferences, was performed to assess the probability of an ancestral endothermy at the node Amniota. Most outgroups were recovered as ectothermic, as is the node Amniota. Our results contradict the hypothesis of an ancestral endothermy and support several independent acquisitions. We discuss that endothermy should be regarded as a collection of acquisitions forming an “endothermic engine” and that studies aimed at inferring endothermy should consider as many of these features as possible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109375
Issue number4
StatePublished - 19 Apr 2024


  • Evolutionary biology
  • Phylogenetics
  • Phylogeny


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