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Diet of Mesozoic toothed birds (Longipterygidae) inferred from quantitative analysis of extant avian diet proxies (2022)
Journal Article
Miller, C., Pittman, M., Wang, X., Zheng, X., & Bright, J. (2022). Diet of Mesozoic toothed birds (Longipterygidae) inferred from quantitative analysis of extant avian diet proxies. BMC biology, 20, Article 101. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12915-022-01294-3

Background Birds are key indicator species in extant ecosystems, and thus we would expect extinct birds to provide insights into the nature of ancient ecosystems. However, many aspects of extinct bird ecology, particularly their diet, remain obscure... Read More about Diet of Mesozoic toothed birds (Longipterygidae) inferred from quantitative analysis of extant avian diet proxies.

Global biogeographic patterns of avian morphological diversity (2022)
Journal Article
Hughes, E. C., Edwards, D. P., Bright, J. A., Capp, E. J., Cooney, C. R., Varley, Z. K., & Thomas, G. H. (2022). Global biogeographic patterns of avian morphological diversity. Ecology letters, 25(3), 598-610. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13905

Understanding the biogeographical patterns, and evolutionary and environmental drivers, underpinning morphological diversity are key for determining its origins and conservation. Using a comprehensive set of continuous morphological traits extracted... Read More about Global biogeographic patterns of avian morphological diversity.

Craniofacial development illuminates the evolution of nightbirds (Strisores) (2021)
Journal Article
Navalón, G., Nebreda, S. M., Bright, J. A., Fabbri, M., Benson, R. B. J., Bhullar, B. A., …Rayfield, E. J. (2021). Craniofacial development illuminates the evolution of nightbirds (Strisores). Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 288(1948), https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.0181

Evolutionary variation in ontogeny played a central role in the origin of the avian skull. However, its influence in subsequent bird evolution is largely unexplored. We assess the links between ontogenetic and evolutionary variation of skull morpholo... Read More about Craniofacial development illuminates the evolution of nightbirds (Strisores).

The signature of competition in ecomorphological traits across the avian radiation: Competition and trait macroevolution (2020)
Journal Article
Chira, A. M., Cooney, C. R., Bright, J. A., Capp, E. J., Hughes, E. C., Moody, C. J., …Thomas, G. H. (2020). The signature of competition in ecomorphological traits across the avian radiation: Competition and trait macroevolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287(1938), https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.1585

© 2020 The Authors. Competition for shared resources represents a fundamental driver of biological diversity. However, the tempo and mode of phenotypic evolution in deep-time has been predominantly investigated using trait evolutionary models which a... Read More about The signature of competition in ecomorphological traits across the avian radiation: Competition and trait macroevolution.

The signature of competition in ecomorphological traits across the avian radiation (2020)
Journal Article
Chira, A. M., Cooney, C. R., Bright, J. A., Capp, E. J., Hughes, E. C., Moody, C. J., …Thomas, G. H. (2020). The signature of competition in ecomorphological traits across the avian radiation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287(1938), https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.1585

Competition for shared resources represents a fundamental driver of biological diversity. However, the tempo and mode of phenotypic evolution in deep-time has been predominantly investigated using trait evolutionary models which assume that lineages... Read More about The signature of competition in ecomorphological traits across the avian radiation.

Disassociated rhamphotheca of fossil bird Confuciusornis informs early beak reconstruction, stress regime, and developmental patterns (2020)
Journal Article
Miller, C. V., Pittman, M., Kaye, T. G., Wang, X., Bright, J. A., & Zheng, X. (2020). Disassociated rhamphotheca of fossil bird Confuciusornis informs early beak reconstruction, stress regime, and developmental patterns. Communications Biology, 3(1), https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01252-1

Soft tissue preservation in fossil birds provides a rare window into their anatomy, function, and development. Here, we present an exceptionally-preserved specimen of Confuciusornis which, through Laser-Stimulated Fluorescence imaging, is identified... Read More about Disassociated rhamphotheca of fossil bird Confuciusornis informs early beak reconstruction, stress regime, and developmental patterns.

The consequences of craniofacial integration for the adaptive radiations of Darwin’s finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers (2020)
Journal Article
Navalón, G., Marugán-Lobón, J., Bright, J. A., Cooney, C., & Rayfield, E. (2020). The consequences of craniofacial integration for the adaptive radiations of Darwin’s finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 4(2), 270-278. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-1092-y

© 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. The diversifications of Darwin’s finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers are two text-book examples of adaptive radiation in birds. Why these two bird groups radiated while the rem... Read More about The consequences of craniofacial integration for the adaptive radiations of Darwin’s finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers.

The multifactorial nature of beak and skull shape evolution in parrots and cockatoos (Psittaciformes) (2019)
Journal Article
Bright, J. A., Marugán-Lobón, J., Rayfield, E. J., & Cobb, S. N. (2019). The multifactorial nature of beak and skull shape evolution in parrots and cockatoos (Psittaciformes). BMC evolutionary biology, 19(1), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-019-1432-1

© 2019 The Author(s). Background: The Psittaciformes (parrots and cockatoos) are characterised by their large beaks, and are renowned for their ability to produce high bite forces. These birds also possess a suite of modifications to their cranial ar... Read More about The multifactorial nature of beak and skull shape evolution in parrots and cockatoos (Psittaciformes).

Feeding in Birds: Thriving in Terrestrial, Aquatic, and Aerial Niches (2019)
Book Chapter
Rico-Guevara, A., Sustaita, D., Gussekloo, S., Olsen, A., Bright, J., Corbin, C., & Dudley, R. (2019). Feeding in Birds: Thriving in Terrestrial, Aquatic, and Aerial Niches. In V. Bels, & I. Q. Whishaw (Eds.), Feeding in Vertebrates (643-693). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-13739-7_17

We start with a general description of the structure of the feeding apparatus in birds (Sect. 17.1), then we describe the biomechanics of those parts (Sect. 17.2), including a review of contemporary approaches to the study of bird feeding morphology... Read More about Feeding in Birds: Thriving in Terrestrial, Aquatic, and Aerial Niches.

The evolutionary relationship among beak shape, mechanical advantage, and feeding ecology in modern birds (2018)
Journal Article
Navalón, G., Bright, J. A., Marugán‐Lobón, J., & Rayfield, E. J. (2019). The evolutionary relationship among beak shape, mechanical advantage, and feeding ecology in modern birds. Evolution, 73(3), 422-435. https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.13655

Extensive research on avian adaptive radiations has led to a presumption that beak morphology predicts feeding ecology in birds. However, this ecomorphological relationship has only been quantified in a handful of avian lineages, where associations a... Read More about The evolutionary relationship among beak shape, mechanical advantage, and feeding ecology in modern birds.

Correlates of rate heterogeneity in avian ecomorphological traits (2018)
Journal Article
Chira, A. M., Cooney, C. R., Bright, J. A., Capp, E. J. R., Hughes, E. C., Moody, C. J. A., …Thomas, G. H. (2018). Correlates of rate heterogeneity in avian ecomorphological traits. Ecology letters, 21(10), 1505-1514. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13131

Heterogeneity in rates of trait evolution is widespread, but it remains unclear which processes drive fast and slow character divergence across global radiations. Here, we test multiple hypotheses for explaining rate variation in an ecomorphological... Read More about Correlates of rate heterogeneity in avian ecomorphological traits.

Open data and digital morphology (2017)
Journal Article
Davies, T. G., Rahman, I. A., Lautenschlager, S., Cunningham, J. A., Asher, R. J., Barrett, P. M., …Donoghue, P. C. J. (2017). Open data and digital morphology. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284(1852), https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.0194

Over the past two decades, the development of methods for visualizing and analysing specimens digitally, in three and even four dimensions, has transformed the study of living and fossil organisms. However, the initial promise that the widespread app... Read More about Open data and digital morphology.

Scaling and functional morphology in strigiform hind limbs (2017)
Journal Article
Rayfield, E. J., Madan, M. A., & Bright, J. A. (2017). Scaling and functional morphology in strigiform hind limbs. Scientific reports, 7, https://doi.org/10.1038/srep44920

© The Author(s) 2017. Strigiformes are an order of raptorial birds consisting exclusively of owls: the Tytonidae (barn owls) and the Strigidae (true owls), united by a suite of adaptations aiding a keen predatory lifestyle, including robust hind limb... Read More about Scaling and functional morphology in strigiform hind limbs.

Mega-evolutionary dynamics of the adaptive radiation of birds (2017)
Journal Article
Cooney, C. R., Bright, J. A., Capp, E. J., Chira, A. M., Hughes, E. C., Moody, C. J., …Thomas, G. H. (2017). Mega-evolutionary dynamics of the adaptive radiation of birds. Nature, 542(7641), 344-347. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature21074

The origin and expansion of biological diversity is regulated by both developmental trajectories and limits on available ecological niches. As lineages diversify, an early and often rapid phase of species and trait proliferation gives way to evolutio... Read More about Mega-evolutionary dynamics of the adaptive radiation of birds.

The shapes of bird beaks are highly controlled by nondietary factors (2016)
Journal Article
Bright, J. A., Marugán-Lobón, J., Cobb, S. N., & Rayfield, E. J. (2016). The shapes of bird beaks are highly controlled by nondietary factors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(19), 5352-5357. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1602683113

Bird beaks are textbook examples of ecological adaptation to diet, but their shapes are also controlled by genetic and developmental histories. To test the effects of these factors on the avian craniofacial skeleton, we conducted morphometric analyse... Read More about The shapes of bird beaks are highly controlled by nondietary factors.

Validation experiments on finite element models of an ostrich (Struthio camelus) cranium (2015)
Journal Article
Cuff, A. R., Bright, J. A., & Rayfield, E. J. (2015). Validation experiments on finite element models of an ostrich (Struthio camelus) cranium. PeerJ, 3(10), https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1294

The first finite element (FE) validation of a complete avian cranium was performed on an extant palaeognath, the ostrich (Struthio camelus). Ex-vivo strains were collected from the cranial bone and rhamphotheca. These experimental strains were then c... Read More about Validation experiments on finite element models of an ostrich (Struthio camelus) cranium.

Finite element modelling predicts changes in joint shape and cell behaviour due to loss of muscle strain in jaw development (2015)
Journal Article
Brunt, L. H., Norton, J. L., Bright, J. A., Rayfield, E. J., & Hammond, C. L. (2015). Finite element modelling predicts changes in joint shape and cell behaviour due to loss of muscle strain in jaw development. Journal of biomechanics, 48(12), 3112-3122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.07.017

© 2015 The Authors. Abnormal joint morphogenesis is linked to clinical conditions such as Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) and to osteoarthritis (OA). Muscle activity is known to be important during the developmental process of joint morphoge... Read More about Finite element modelling predicts changes in joint shape and cell behaviour due to loss of muscle strain in jaw development.

A mid-Oligocene (Whitneyan) rhinocerotid from northeastern California (2015)
Journal Article
Bright, J. A., Tiffney, B. H., & Wyss, A. R. (2015). A mid-Oligocene (Whitneyan) rhinocerotid from northeastern California. Journal of Paleontology, 89(1), 135-139. https://doi.org/10.1017/jpa.2014.11

© 2015, The Paleontological Society. Rhinoceroses were important in North American mammal faunas from the late middle Eocene to the Miocene, but the group's poor sampling outside the High Plains and eastern Rocky Mountain regions during their early e... Read More about A mid-Oligocene (Whitneyan) rhinocerotid from northeastern California.

A review of paleontological finite element models and their validity (2014)
Journal Article
Bright, J. A. (2014). A review of paleontological finite element models and their validity. Journal of Paleontology, 88(4), 760-769. https://doi.org/10.1666/13-090

Finite element analysis (FEA) is a powerful quantitative tool that models mechanical performance in virtual reconstructions of complex structures, such as animal skeletons. The unique potential of FEA to elucidate the function, performance, and ecolo... Read More about A review of paleontological finite element models and their validity.

Digital dissection - using contrast-enhanced computed tomography scanning to elucidate hard- and soft-tissue anatomy in the Common Buzzard Buteo buteo (2013)
Journal Article
Lautenschlager, S., Bright, J. A., & Rayfield, E. J. (2014). Digital dissection - using contrast-enhanced computed tomography scanning to elucidate hard- and soft-tissue anatomy in the Common Buzzard Buteo buteo. Journal of anatomy, 224(4), 412-431. https://doi.org/10.1111/joa.12153

Gross dissection has a long history as a tool for the study of human or animal soft‐ and hard‐tissue anatomy. However, apart from being a time‐consuming and invasive method, dissection is often unsuitable for very small specimens and often cannot cap... Read More about Digital dissection - using contrast-enhanced computed tomography scanning to elucidate hard- and soft-tissue anatomy in the Common Buzzard Buteo buteo.