Miniaturized vertebrates with microendemic pattern of distribution have been recurrently observed in tropical forests, raising many developmental and evolutionary questions. We have studied this phenomenon for a tiny frog, Euparkerella, endemic to Atlantic Rainforest, and recognized deep molecular divergences between species, cryptic diversity and population structure at fine scale. Our aim now is to improve the population genetics study with more samples and analytical tools, focusing in landscape and niche modelling, to best understand microevolutionary process associated to miniaturization. Additionally, a new morphofunctional component will be added. We will generate microtomography images to investigate osteological constrains to minute body sizes in three ways: i) phylogenetic; ii) taxonomic; and iii) populational. We expect to integrate all approaches to have a multi-scale panorama of evolutionary implications of miniaturization.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: